PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two Oregon college students in the US on visas are now facing federal charges as part of a counterfeit iPhone scam.
Federal agents said Quan Jiang and Yangyangg Zhou received multiple shipments of counterfeit iPhones from China. The men then sent thousands of phones to Apple and claimed they wouldn’t power up, authorities said.
Documents revealed Jiang submitted more than 2000 iPhones to Apple and sent more than 3000 warranty claims. Apple records showed they rejected 1500 warranty claims but provided more than 1400 replacement phones.
In all, Apple lost nearly $900,000.
Officials also said an associate in China gave Jiang a cut that his mother put into a bank account for him.
Customs officials said they located more than 300 phones at Zhou’s home, and he said they phones were worth $30, not $600, each.
Jiang, who is completing studies in electrical engineering at Linn Benton Community College, is charged with trafficking counterfeit goods and wire fraud.
Zhou, meanwhile, is facing charges for submitting false or misleading information on an export declaration. He’s an Oregon State University student studying engineering.
Defense attorney Jamie S. Kilberg told KOIN 6 News in a statemtent that “Mr. Zhou was not aware of any alleged counterfeiting, and we believe Mr. Zhou will be vindicated.”