Edward Hornsey has had an impressively long relationship with Apple’s customer service department. The 24 year-old has returned 51 iPhones in the past year, and Apple has replaced them with brand-new units.
The only problem is that none of those phones were his, and he’s now in jail for fraud.
Hornsey discovered a loophole in Apple’s system in which it does not keep track of how many phones people return, The Mirror reports. The scammer bought old and used iPhones from online ads, returned them to Apple, and then sold the factory-fresh handsets that he received back.
U.K. officers investigated the arrestee after one of his ill-gotten devices turned up in a burglary case and found deposits in his bank account totaling £27,453.80 (about $42,500 in U.S. dollars). Hornsey readily admitted to the scam.
He had used the National Mobile Property Register to check 25 of the old iPhones he received from placing online ads, but learning that some had been reported either lost or stolen didn’t stop him from shipping them off to Apple. The company “said they would not have replaced the phones if they had been aware of the circumstances,” The Mirror reports.
“You utilized the repair or replace service operated by Apple in order to launder stolen mobile phones,” Queen’s Council Neil Bidder told Hornsey before sending him off to jail. “This was a calculated fraud and you knew exactly what you were doing – if people like you were completely honest, fewer mobile phones would be stolen.”
So if you send your phone in for a repair in the near future and it seems to take a little longer than it should, Edward Hornsey is probably why.