Prison Inmates Make 1 Million Selling Apple Gear Bought with Stolen Credit

first_imgIf there’s anything about the prison system that’s undeniably true, it’s that most prisoners emerge from it knowing how to be better criminals than they went in. Whether they opt to commit more crimes is a different matter entirely. Even so, some inmates at New York’s Rikers Island decided that hey, they were in jail already, so what’s a little white collar crime while they’re serving hard time? A little extra cash never hurt, even if you’re stuck in jail, right? That was the logic behind Shaheed Bilal’s new enterprise: allegedly directing his girlfriend and three brothers on the outside to forge stolen credit card information on magnetic strips and apply those strips to new cards. While he passed out the information to his girlfriend and brothers, they generated the cards and passed them out to friends, all of whom were tasked to buy as many iPads, MacBook and MacBook Pros, and iPod Touches they could soak up with the stolen card information. Once they’d hauled in all of the gear, Bilal and his crew then re-sold the gear at a discount to unwitting buyers who didn’t know the Apple products were all stolen goods. Bilal and his crew kept the money, handed over the laptops, tablets, and music players to their buyers, and the people with stolen credit card information were stuck holding the bag. Bilal pulled the strings for the entire syndicate from behind bars. That is, at least until the Manhattan District Attorney and the Secret Service caught on to the scheme, tracked the group’s activities for over 18 months, and finally charged Bilal’s girlfriend, his brothers, and 27 other people in association with the crime. The crime ring ran across 13 different states and Washington DC, in what amounted to millions of dollars of losses from hundreds of bank accounts. That said, there are probably a lot of happy Mac owners out there who have no idea exactly how much of a bargain their new MacBook Pro really was. [via NY Daily News]AdChoices广告last_img