Recent reports by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department state that 6 Apple store employees and 1 Best Buy employee have been arrested. These employees are accused of teaming up to defraud the Apple store located at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale. view sun-seninel article
According to Broward Police Detectives began investigating after Apple’s regional loss prevention manager, whom reported unusually high number of exchanges at the Fort Lauderdale Galleria Mall store.
The accusations are that since April 2014 these Apple store employees defrauded the store out of approximately 600 iPhones worth an estimated cost of half-million dollars. view apple store info
How did this scheme work?
According to the Fort Lauderdale Police department the ringleader of this group has been identified as Devon Persad. Persad would contact his accomplice at Best Buy store, identified as Sean Flynn, for a list of ‘cold’ serial numbers. ‘Cold’ serial numbers being ones from the Best Buy store inventory that had not been registered.
Apple store employees involved in this scheme would be paid between $45-$75 to exchange the stolen iPhones for new ones with ‘cold’ serial codes. Unidentified suspects who posed, as customers would exchange broken or locked iPhones to the Apple store employees. These employees would then select a serial number provided by the Best Buy employee and associate the phone being exchanged by the unknown suspects. Customers who bought iPhones at the Best Buy store reported problems registering their smartphone because the serial number had already been registered.
According to Broward criminal defense attorney William R. Moore this is considered a white-collar crime and the potential charges for this type of fraud are harsh. Defending these types of white-collar crimes are very complex due to the fact of the number of people being accused. The testimonies of the defendants can be used against others facing the same charges.
The individuals arrested in this scheme have been charged organized theft with one count each of obtaining property over $50,000 by fraud, grand theft less than $100,000 and stolen property.
For more information about this case contact:
William R. Moore
William R. Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys
1 Financial Plaza #2500
Fort Lauderdale FL 33394