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Press Release

Nebraska Man Sentenced for Counterfeit iPad Return Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Nebraska man was sentenced yesterday for his role in a conspiracy to purchase genuine Apple iPads from large retail stores, return counterfeit iPads for a full refund, and resell the genuine iPads for cash.

Ernesto Leyva, 27, of Lincoln, Nebraska, formerly of Miami, Florida, was sentenced by District of Nebraska Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $27,745.33 in restitution.  

Leyva was indicted in the District of Massachusetts in July 2015, and subsequently pleaded guilty in October 2015, to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and transport stolen goods.  Co-defendants, Yoan Sanchez Rodriguez, 26, formerly of Hialeah, Florida and Yulaisy Dominguez, 27, formerly of Hialeah, Florida, were also charged in the same conspiracy. 

Between December 2012 and December 2013, Leyva engaged in a conspiracy to purchase genuine iPads from Walmart and Target and then return counterfeit iPads to the stores, for a full refund.  He would then resell the genuine iPads.  The scheme began shortly after Christmas in 2012 and was concentrated on Walmart stores in the Northeast (Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut) between December 2012 and February 2013 and Target stores in Florida in July 2013.  The total retail losses to both store chains were over $80,000. 

Leyva was arrested in Nebraska in July 2015 and in October 2015 the case was transferred for a plea and sentencing from the District of Massachusetts to the District of Nebraska.  Defendants Rodriguez and Dominguez, who are married, are fugitives. 

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information regarding this case or knowledge of the whereabouts of Rodriguez and Dominguez should call 617-748-3274, and messages will be promptly returned.   

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office also wishes to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska for the role they played in the resolution of the case.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amy Harman Burkart of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit and Assistant United States Attorney William W. Mickle, II from the District of Nebraska.

Updated February 18, 2016