Threat Management

Apple Store staffer charged with using phony payment cards to buy $1M in Apple gift cards

A 24-year-old Apple Store employee from Queens, N.Y. has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes for re-coding credit and debit cards and using them to purchase nearly $1 million worth of legitimate Apple gift cards.

Ruben Profit was arraigned on Friday on charges of second degree grand larceny, first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and third degree criminal possession of stolen property, a Tuesday news release said. He is being held on $20,000 bail and, if convicted, faces 15 years in prison.

“At the time of his arrest, Profit was allegedly in possession of 51 Visa and/or American Express gift cards with magnetic strips that had been fraudulently re-encoded with credit card information,” the release said, adding later, “The defendant is alleged to have also been in possession of [seven] Apple gift cards valued at $2,000 each.”

According to the criminal complaint cited in the release, Profit was working at the Apple Store location in Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst when he used Visa and American Express gift, debit and prepaid cards to purchase a large number of Apple gift cards.

Profit allegedly made the purchases between Aug. 2 and Oct. 15, and altogether the Apple gift cards were worth roughly $997,000, the release said. Profit allegedly told law enforcement that he sold $2,000 Apple gift cards for $200 each.

Apple may have become aware of the incident in October, when the tech giant allegedly began receiving notifications of charge-backs related to the Apple gift cards that Profit had purchased, the release said.

Profit is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 10.

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