‘iPod Mechanic’ gets 13-month jail term, $656k restitution
Nicholas Woodhams of Kalamazoo, MI, once known as the “iPod Mechanic,” has been sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud and money laundering earlier this year. Woodhams was also ordered to pay $648,568 in restitution to Apple and $8,066 to the U.S. Postal Service. “This was not a victimless crime,” U.S. Attorney Donald Davis said in the press release, “because the costs of fraud are borne by both the consumer and the taxpayer, perpetrators of such crimes must be held accountable.”
According to an earlier lawsuit filed by Apple last year, Woodhams allegedly took advantage of Apple’s iPod shuffle Advance Replacement Program in 2007, by filling out an online form for customers that saw Apple ship him “replacement” iPod shuffle units, with a credit card kept on file in case the broken shuffle was never returned. Apple claimed that Woodhams used a credit card he knew could be authorized for a potential charge, but would immediately decline any actual charges made by Apple should the broken shuffles fail to appear. Woodhams then sold the players for $49 each, according to court documents filed this week in Grand Rapids, MI.
In addition to the shuffle replacement scheme, Apple also accused Woodhams of ignoring an agreement to stop using the iPod Mechanic name for his business and accompanying website, claiming it was misuse of the company’s “iPod” trademark; Woodhams is also said to have swapped out the back plates of out-of-warranty iPods for those of still-covered models in an effort to avoid paying repair and parts charges. [via Cult of Mac]
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