Crook steals $6 million worth of Apple gear using company credit card

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iPhone
The crime went unnoticed for several years.
Photo: Jim Merithew

There have, unfortunately, been plenty of scams involving stolen or misappropriated Apple products due to their high resale value.

However, few clock up the kind of quantities revealed in a report about a five-year scam. It involved an accounting manager for a software company. Over several years, Nadia Minetto spent upward of $6 million on iPhones and iPads using a company credit card. These Apple devices were then sold, before Minetto was ultimately caught.

According to the National Post, Minetto sold the items to a man named Gabriel Fung. In total, she purchased thousands of iPads and iPhones, sometimes ordering up to 20 at a time. Nobody noticed. They were sold through Fung’s electronics shop, as well as to wholesalers.

Minetto was able to get away with the scam was because she was in charge of approving payments for the AmEx cards of the firm she worked for. As a result, nobody noticed the spending until July 2014.

Cracking the case

They were uncovered by a consultant hired as part of a public offering for the firm Wescom. She looked back over old receipts and found the spending dated back to May 2009. In total, “at least $6,831,834 of Wescom’s money was misappropriated, according to court documents, most of it on the Apple phones and tablets.”

At first, Minetto handed over the devices to Fung in person. After a while, Fung rented a “virtual office” address where the devices could be shipped to.

Minetto confessed after being caught. She came to an agreement with Wescom to pay back the money. It’s not clear how much money has been paid back.

Wescom also pursued Fung for his money related to the goods. Fung reportedly paid Minetto a total of $5.2 million in cash during their interactions. Minetto reportedly told him the devices were “legit” and not stolen.

While the case wrapped up a couple of years back, it’s the subject of a more detailed story which just appeared online. You can check it out here.