iPod scammer pleads guilty to fraud and money laundering
By David Dahlquist , MacworldAPR 8, 2009 6:33 am PDT
Nicholas Woodhams, the
notorious Apple scammer who tricked our favorite company out of 9,000 iPod shuffles,
fessed up and pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering in federal court on Monday.
Woodhams ran an iPod Mechanic repair shop in Kalamazoo, Mich, where he took advantage of Apple’s warranty program by using bogus serial numbers to get 9,000 iPod replacements without returning the originals.
Since Apple’s return policy requires that you ship your defective unit back to them, Woodhams crafted a plan involving pre-paid VISA gift cards and a UPS Store mailbox to get around this rule. When Apple would try to charge for the unreturned item, the VISA cards would reject the charges. Amazingly, this plan worked well enough to get Woodhams 9,000 free iPod Shuffles, which he sold for a hefty profit through his website.
As if this weren’t enough to secure Woodham’s title of sleazy weasel extraordinaire, he also defrauded Apple by sending in out-of-warranty iPods with the back casings replaced with in-warranty iPods to get free repairs, which it’s safe to assume, he charged his customers for. Where does the madness end?
Woodhams is yet to be formally sentenced, but he’s so far agreed to give up property obtained through his naughty scheme, which includes a house, cars, and more than $57,000 in cash.
Alas, young Woodham, you had some clever ideas, but how long did you expect this scheme to last?