|$1M Apple gift card scam foiled
Five Staten Islanders accused in a million-dollar gift card fraud scheme are each on the hook for $60,000 in restitution, while two of them face jail time, under plea agreements reached with prosecutors.To get more news about 充值q币, you can visit nnxwheels.com official website.
The defendants — Ruchao Chen, 40; En Ping Chen, 37; Li Ming Chen, 36; Li Yu Chen, 37, and Xiulan Jiang, 38 — each recently pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court, St. George, to third-degree criminal possession of stolen property to resolve the case.Prosecutors said the scam unfolded between July and September of 2021. The defendants obtained legitimate Apple gift cards by using information previously stolen from American Express account holders.
The group then used those cards to buy Apple products from the Apple store at the Staten Island Mall, District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said last October in announcing the defendants’ arrests.On executing search warrants at three homes associated with the defendants, investigators seized $118,000 in cash, over $787,000 in unused Apple gift cards, plus an additional 180 assorted gift cards, said prosecutors.
They also recovered 65 new, unopened Apple products, said McMahon, who thanked Apple and American Express for their co-operation. “My office will always remain vigilant against scams and other schemes, and we encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim of a scam to contact my office,” McMahon said after the defendants’ arrest.
According to their plea agreements, Ruchao Chen and En Ping Chen will each be sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation. They must also pay $60,000 in restitution individually. The remaining three defendants will be each be sentenced to five years’ probation, and also must pony up $60,000 in restitution individually.“Mr. Chen, by his plea and agreement to make restitution, has accepted responsibility for his conduct,” said Glenn Morak, Ruchao Chen’s lawyer. “Mr. Chen has no prior criminal record. He looks forward to putting this case behind him.”
En Ping Chen’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. Assistant District Attorney Daniel Stern is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Curiale, chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau.
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