$2 million in stolen iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, and Macs has man facing 10 years in prison

Inside the Apple Store in Knightsbridge, London
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

A Nashua, New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty to the theft of $2 million in iPhones, iPads, Apple watches, and Macs.

Guangwei “William” Wu made the plea after being charged on June 1 and will be sentenced on October 4 and he faces a lengthy jail spell when that happens.

The charging statute means that Wu will face a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. And all after he took a shipment of Apple devices that were intended for one Hong Kong company and gave them to another after receiving a bribe of $700,000.

'Disclaimer of ownership'

According to a press release by the United States Attorney's Office, Wu owned and operated a transshipping company in Manchester called Hai Xing Qiao. In the fall of 2022 a Hong Kong company bought the Apple products and hired Wu's company to ship them to Hong Kong. But that isn't what he did.

"However, Yongfu Huo, another Hong Kong-based company, paid a bribe of over $700,000 to the defendant to have the products shipped to Yongfu Huo instead," the statement reads. And it got worse from there. "To cover up his tracks, the defendant claimed that law enforcement had seized the Apple products and sent the victim company a false document titled “Disclaimer of Ownership” purportedly issued by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service."

What's more, in the creation of that false document Wu forged the signature of a federal agent in an attempt to make it appear genuine.

The company that paid the $700,000 bribe clearly received $2 million worth of Apple hardware for its money, but there are better ways to get a bargain — like our collection of the best Apple Prime Day deals, for example. Whether it's a new iPhone 14 that you're looking for a bargain on, or you just need new AirPods, there's sure to be a deal for everyone this Prime Day.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.