Apple once again finds itself the target of criminal activity, though this time the scheme is slightly more elaborate than a small-time smash and grab job. According to court documents filed in the state of New York, dozens of suspects have been charged in association with using thousands of stolen credit card numbers to purchase products from Apple Store locations across the country. The group made fake credit cards with stolen credit card numbers and then used them to purchase Apple laptops, iPhones, iPods and other Apple products. The group’s leader, 28-year-old Shaheed Bilal, allegedly continued to orchestrate the entire operation even while incarcerated from May through December of last year. Bilal had thousands of stolen credit card numbers in his possession and even boasted on Twitter about using stolen cards at restaurants. Records of Bilal’s tweets were referenced by prosecutors at his arraignment on Tuesday. The Apple Store scheme began in May 2009, and the group reportedly purchased over $1 million worth of Apple products using the stolen card numbers. 27 suspects have been charged so far.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.