Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance on Thursday said the ring bought US$ 700,000 worth of gift cards after fraudulently obtaining “instant credit” that Apple had offeredonline in conjunction with Barclays Plc’s Barclaycard, and then used the cards to buy Apple products.
The alleged ringleader was Devin Bazile, a former Apple sales associate.
Prosecutors said he recruited Apple store employees to misuse names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers that werestolen by defendant Annie Vuong from more than 250 patients at a Manhattan dental office where she worked as a receptionist.
While the ring operated mainly in 2012, bogus applications were being made in victims’ names as recently as one month ago, Vance’s office said.
Bazile was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he returned from vacation in Dubai, the office said.
Four of the defendants live in New York City’s Bronx borough: Bazile, 30; Vuong, 28; Joshua Haughton, 27; and Sharniqkwa Dukes, 24. The fifth, Ahmeen Evans, 26, is from Stoughton, Massachusetts.
Bazile faces 394 felony counts, including grand larceny, identity theft and scheming to defraud, while the other defendants face between 50 and 194 felony counts.