Two Men Charged in $1.5 Million Apple Gift Card Scheme
A New York man appeared in federal court in Dallas Tuesday afternoon on charges related to his alleged role in a $1.5 million Apple gift card scheme, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Syed Ali, 29, and his co-conspirator, Jason Tout-Puissant, 27, were both charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud in December.
“These defendants may have assumed their fraud would go unnoticed simply because $1.5 million is small compared to the revenue that Apple expects to generate – but thankfully, the FBI is vigilant for fraud of all shapes and sizes,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “DOJ is committed to protecting American companies, large and small, from fraudulent schemes like this.”
“The FBI worked to identify and end the scheme carried out by the defendants,” said Michael Schneider, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Division. “Our private sector partnerships allow us to effectively target cyber criminals who attempt to steal property or sensitive information.”
According to the indictment, Mr. Tout-Puissant allegedly obtained an Apple point-of-sale device called an “Isaac” and used it to load thousands of dollars of fraudulent store credits onto gift cards over the course of about 16 months.
He then sent the gift cards digitally to Mr. Ali, who allegedly used them to purchase computers and other Apple products from the company’s brick-and-mortar retail stores across the country.
Mr. Ali was arrested in New York in March, and subsequently removed to the Northern District of Texas, where he appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Horan Tuesday afternoon. If convicted, Mr. Ali and Mr. Puissant face up to 20 years in federal prison on each count.
An indictment is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Both defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sid Mody prosecuted the case.