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Michigan man pleads guilty to $1M ’empty box’ Apple fraud scheme

A 25-year-old Michigan man pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose Monday to a so-called “empty box” refund scheme that defrauded Cupertino-based Apple Inc. of $1 million.

Van-Seyla Mork, a Kalamazoo resident, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Edward Davila to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Davila will sentence him on Oct. 21.

According to prosecution documents, Mork advertised an “Apple Refund Service” online between 2015 and 2018, offering people who bought Apple products a full refund.

Mork would then submit fraudulent refund requests to Apple, falsely claiming the customers received only an empty box. He took a 10 percent commission on the refunds.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Abraham Simmons said Mork admitted the scheme cost Apple $1 million.

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