Michigan man pleads guilty to scam that cost Apple $1 million

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iPhone XS box gold
Van-Seyla Mork claimed Apple sent out empty boxes instead of products.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A Michigan man this week pleaded guilty to running an “empty-box” fraud scheme that cost Apple more than $1 million.

Van-Seyla Mork filed complaints on behalf of Apple customers, alleging that purchased products had not been received. After obtaining refunds, he transferred the money through various bank accounts in an effort to conceal the fraudulent proceeds.

Inside Apple’s billion-dollar war on repair fraud

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Cult of Mac's buyback program pays good money for your gear, even broken ones.
Chinese iPhone fraud involved removing components from devices then deliberately breaking them so Apple would replace the handset.
Photo: Warren R.M. Stuart/Flickr CC

Fraudulent iPhone repair claims are big business in China. To the point where about 60 percent of the handsets being repaired under warranty in that country were part of scams.

Apple has had to make draconian efforts to even slow the rate at which Chinese criminal gangs are stealing from it.

Invisible ads could be crippling your smartphone

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Some of the apps available on Apple Watch.
Thousands of apps on iOS and Android run invisible ads you didn't know about.
Photo: Apple

“What you don’t know won’t hurt you” is a common phrase that unfortunately does not apply to the apps on your phone. It turns out that thousands of apps on Android and iOS secretly have ads in them that you can’t see, and they very well might be what’s causing a number of problems that plague smartphones today.

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Former Apple Manager Pleads Guilty In Kickback Scheme

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apple_manager_paul_devine

Former Apple manager Paul Devine pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose on Monday to a massive kickback scheme involving Apple’s supply chain.

Devine will forfeit $2.25 million in proceeds and property, the U.S. Attorney said.

Devine provided suppliers with details of Apple’s product roadmap and pricing targets in exchange for hefty kickbacks. When he was busted, feds found about $150,000 in shoeboxes under his bed and more money in foreign accounts and safe deposit boxes.

Devine originally pleaded not-guilty but later agreed to protect Apple’s trade secrets if the case came to court. That move was seen as a way to get a favorable plea bargain. Devine had faced 23 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. He plead guilty to one count of each statutory violation.

He awaits sentencing on June 6. He could face up to 20 years in jail, the U.S Attorney said.

Full press release below: