A Chicago man admitted to stealing more than $1 million worth of iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices from Verizon Wireless through an elaborate scheme that involved bribing FedEx drivers, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced on Tuesday.
Stephen Gunn, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Gunn accessed the online accounts of dozens of Verizon’s customers, including several customers located in New Jersey, and used those accounts to place unauthorized orders for electronics products, primarily, smart phones and accessories. He directed the fraudulently ordered products be shipped to addresses in Texas, including several addresses that did not exist, via FedEx.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Gunn directed two FedEx drivers to intercept the shipments, remove the contents, and re-ship the devices to addresses in Illinois provided by Gunn. In exchange, Gunn paid the drivers each thousands of dollars.
Gunn fraudulently got his hands on roughly 1,700 items—including several hundred Apple iPhones and iPads, Blackberry devices, and Motorola phones—worth more than $1 million, theU.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The conspiracy to commit wire fraud count to which Gunn pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense.
Gunn is scheduled for sentencing on July 15, 2014.
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