Two men who stole $1.5 million in Apple gift cards using equipment stolen from a Southlake store have been sentenced to a combined eight years in federal prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Justice Department said Syed Ali, 29, and Jason Tout-Puissant, 27, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2019. They used point-of-sale devices Tout-Puissant stole from an Apple store in Southlake to load thousands of dollars of store credit onto gift cards.
He would then load the gift cards onto Apple Passbook to generate QR codes for the money on the cards and send screenshots to Ali, according to the Justice Department.
Tout-Puissant was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Godbey to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.26 million in restitution. Ali was sentenced by the same judge to 37 months.
Ali admitted in his plea papers that he had another coconspirator who was not indicted and used the QR codes to purchase thousands in Apple products from retail stores in New York.
“If these defendants thought their million-dollar fraud would go unnoticed simply because they targeted a trillion-dollar company, they were sorely mistaken,” Northern Texas District U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said in the news release. “The Justice Department will not tolerate fraud against any company, be it a multinational corporation or a mom-and-pop operation. We are grateful to our FBI partners for their work on this case.”