A Michigan man (not to be confused with the Michelin Man) has been charged with fraud after stealing over 9,000 iPod Shuffles.
Independent iPod repairman Nicholas Woodhams, 23, acquired 9,075 iPod Shuffles (we assume that it’s the previous generation version when it still had buttons) and resold each for $49.
Woodhams accomplished this by entering the serial numbers of iPod Shuffles for warranty claims while using Wal-Mart Visa gift credit card that would reject the charge when the supposedly “defective” iPod Shuffle wasn’t returned.
"Through trial and error, the defendant determined that he could guess valid, warrantied serial numbers and enter them into Apple's Web site for 'replacement' units without ever in fact purchasing or possessing the 'original' units," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler wrote.
This is assumed to be a manual process, meaning that it had to be repeated for each iPod stolen.
"On an almost daily basis during the course of the scheme, the defendant compiled lists of manufactured or 'guessed' Shuffle serial numbers that would be accepted by Apple's Web site and dispatched them to part-time employees by hand or e-mail," the prosecutors added.
The feds are now seeking to seize Woodham’s 2004 Audi, a 2006 drag racer as well as more than $571,000 in cash.