|US stole and sold smartphones in HK
A California couple have been charged with collecting hundreds of stolen smart phones from across the US, then selling them in Hong Kong for as much as US$2,000 each.
The state attorney general Kamala Devi Harris says they made nearly US$4 million in just eight months.
Officials say 39-year-old Shou Lin Wen and his wife, 27-year-old Yuting Tan, were arraigned in Sacramento County Superior Court on eight felony counts of money laundering, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy, AP reports.
They are jailed with bail set at US$1 million each.
Neither entered a plea, and their attorney declined comment.
Prosecutors say the couple recruited people from homeless shelters to sign up for multiyear service contracts that let them buy multiple smartphones at a discount.
The charges allege they had no intention of paying the service contracts.
The couple were arrested March 6 during an undercover operation by special agents from the attorney general's 2-year-old eCrime Unit.
The agents met the couple in parking lot, where they offered to sell the couple 408 smartphones. Agents say the couple produced US$60,600 in cash to buy 163 of the phones