Two Chinese citizens, 33-year-old residents of Maryland, USA, Haotian Song and Penfei Xue, decided to take advantage of the one-year warranty that Apple gives to its iPhones in a very original way. Enterprising Chinese sent fake iPhones purchased in Hong Kong to the company, which replaces faulty smartphones with working ones within a year from the date of purchase, and received real, branded ones back. The duo gloried burnt gadgets for over two years, from May 2017 to September 2019; To do this, Mr. Sun opened as many as eight UPS Store mailboxes.

In two years, inveterate fraudsters have sent more than 5,000 fake iPhones to Apple, the amount of damage caused to the company is estimated at more than $3 million. The scheme was exposed after Apple employees, surprised by so many “faulty” smartphones, dug deeper, found fake components in their gadgets, and involved law enforcement officers in solving this “mystery”. The Maryland Prosecutor’s Office duly assessed the zeal of Haotian Song and Penghei Xue – the maximum sentence they can receive for their “startup” – 20 years in prison each.

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