Seven Apple store employees and one Best Buy worker have been arrested in the US.
Those involved were allegedly working with thieves to exchange 600 stolen smartphones for official Apple handsets. The scam is estimated to have netted the gang more than $500,000.
According to the police, the Apple store staff would ring the Best Buy contact for legitimate serial numbers to attach to stolen iPhones that were brought into the store. The staff were paid between $45 and $75 for each stolen phone that was successfully exchanged.
Apple launched an investigation after its internal audit team noticed an unusually high number of exchanged handsets.
This is not the only Apple news this week showing its US store staff in a bad light.
A customer in Portland claims he was given a receipt after purchasing a pair of headphones in an Apple store with the words ‘email@example.com’ printed on it.
“This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming,” posted the customer, Adam Catanzarite, on his Facebook profile.
Apple is expected to release its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 6, at a press event on September 9th.