Chinese Citizen Jailed In US For Defrauding Apple, Pays Damages

Teang Liu, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China from Alexandria, Virginia, was sentenced on Thursday (March 10) for participating in a conspiracy to defraud Apple of more than $1 million, the U.S. Justice Department said. 372 days in prison.

The Justice Department statement said Low, 38, moved to the United States in 2011 and received a master’s degree in finance from George Washington University in 2014. From at least June 2016 to June 2018, he was actively involved in a conspiracy to defraud Apple. Liu was recruited by Haiteng Wu to join the conspiracy. Wu also enlisted his wife, Jiahong Cai, to participate in the scheme. Wu Haiteng and Cai Jiahong are also citizens of the People’s Republic of China.

Chinese Citizen Jailed In US
            Chinese Citizen Jailed In US

The three returned counterfeit iPhones shipped from Hong Kong to Apple in exchange for genuine phones, the Justice Department said. These knockoff phones contain fake IMEI numbers and serial numbers that match genuine iPhones that are under warranty. The fraudulently obtained genuine mobile phones were then shipped back to their overseas associates, including in Hong Kong.

The Justice Department said Liu’s particular role in the conspiracy included opening the mailboxes of dozens of commercial mail agents — mostly in UPS stores — using a fake ID Wu provided him. Return the fake phone to an Apple retail store.

They defrauded Apple of more than 2,500 new iPhones, according to the criminal complaint. They admitted to successfully defrauding Apple of nearly $1 million and intending to defraud Apple of more money.

The three of them were arrested in 2019. Low pleaded guilty in February 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the jail term, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Liu to pay $577,780 in restitution and a $57,780 forfeiture judgment. After serving his sentence, Liu will be released under supervision for one year.

Wu and Cai were detained from arrest until sentencing. Both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in May 2020. As part of the sentencing, Tsai ended up spending five months in jail in Washington. She was also ordered to leave the United States. Wu was sentenced on February 1, 2021, to serve approximately 26 months.

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