NEWARK, NEW JERSEY — A Chicago man has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for stealing more than $1 million worth of iPhones and iPads from Verizon Wireless by misappropriating corporate purchasing accounts and then diverting the shipments by bribing Federal Express drivers, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Stephen Gunn, 36, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Gunn accessed the online accounts of dozens of Verizon’s customers, including several customers located in New Jersey, and used those accounts to place unauthorized orders for electronics products, primarily smart phones and accessories. He directed the fraudulently ordered products to be shipped to addresses in Texas, including several addresses that did not exist, via Federal Express.
At Gunn’s direction, two Federal Express drivers intercepted the shipments, removed the contents, and re-shipped the contents to addresses in Illinois provided by Gunn. In exchange, Gunn paid each of the drivers thousands of dollars. Gunn fraudulently obtained approximately 1,700 items — including several hundred Apple iPhones and iPads, Blackberry devices, and Motorola phones — worth more than $1 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Cecchi sentenced Gunn to serve three years of supervised release and pay $2,002,424.40 in restitution.
The two drivers who conspired with Gunn, Marion Samuel Perkins and George Greene Jr., were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the western district of Texas, pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to prison terms.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel V. Shapiro of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.