reports that U.S. federal officials have charged a Michigan con man with fraud and money laundering after Apple apparently brought the guy to their attention by suing him over the use of the name ‘iPod’ in his company name, iPod Mechanic.


The iPod famly as it was in when Woodhams was operating. Shuffle, far right.

Nicholas Woodhams of Kalamazoo, MI, apparently set up a portable electronics repair company and padded his revenues by scamming Apple out of new iPod shuffles which he then sold at below-market prices to his customers. Who would turn down the offer of a new shuffle for (US)$49, $30 below the offical Apple list price?

Woodhams allegedly fraudulently obtained and resold more than 9,000 iPods between March, 2006, and October, 2007.

The key to Woodhams’ scam was his ability to correctly guess the valid serial numbers of iPods that were listed as under warranty by Apple. He simply reported them as having to be replaced under warranty. He was supposed to send the (nonexistant) broken iPods back to Apple but used a scheme that we won’t go into in detail here to sidestep that requirement.

Anyway… The feds have reportedly siezed some major assets from Woodhams including a brokerage account, some real estate and several vehicles, pending the resolution of the cases proceeding against him. The iPods he is accused of snaffling would have been worth over (US)$700,000 retail.

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