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Wed Feb 21, 2024, 11:21 AM Feb 21

2 Maryland residents attempted to steal 5,000 iPhones with fraud scheme, jury finds [View all]

2 Maryland residents attempted to steal 5,000 iPhones with fraud scheme, jury finds
Emily Venezky | emily.venezky@wtop.com

February 21, 2024, 9:44 AM

Two Maryland residents were found guilty of trying to defraud Apple out of millions of dollars with fake iPhones from China on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Haotian Sun and Pengfei Xue, both Chinese nationals that were residing in Germantown, Maryland, were charged with mail fraud in a U.S. District Court after trying to exchange counterfeit phones for real iPhones from Apple retail stories and service providers, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The two 33-year-olds received shipments of inauthentic iPhones from Hong Kong at mailboxes throughout the D.C. area, according to government evidence. They then tried to tried to submit the phones with fake serial numbers for repairs at local Apple stores, including the Apple Store in Georgetown.

The investigation found that Sun and Xue submitted more than 5,000 fake iPhones to Apple for exchanges during their mail fraud scheme, which would have cost the tech developer more than $3 million.


Emily Venezky
Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

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