Five people billed as part of a million dollar gift card program, says DA McMahon
STATEN ISLAND, NY – District Attorney Michael E. McMahon announced Wednesday that a months-long investigation into an alleged gift card program resulted in the arrest of five people and the seizure of more than one million dollars in unused gift cards, Apple products and products. cash.
The long-term investigation found that a group of people between July and September of this year illegally obtained gift cards using information previously stolen from American Express account holders before using those cards to purchase cards. – legitimate Apple gifts.
The individuals then allegedly used the cards to purchase Apple products from the Apple Store in Staten Island Mall, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
“This long-term investigation, conducted by our Office of Economic Crimes and Investigators, ended a million dollar gift card program that was underway on Staten Island,” McMahon said. “As a result, five people have now been arrested and charged with various crimes, and we will work tirelessly to hold these defendants fully accountable.”
Enping Chen, 36; Liming Chen, 35; Liyu Chen, 36 years old; Ruchao Chen, 39; and Xiulan Jiang, 37 – all residents of Staten Island – have been charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree possession of stolen property. The five people were arrested on Wednesday and released on their own accord.
Information on the defendants’ lawyer was not immediately on file.
A search warrant was executed Tuesday at three separate Staten Island residences associated with those arrested after investigators looked into the surveillance of the mall’s Apple store.
The raid brought in $ 118,000 in cash, about $ 787,000 in unused Apple gift cards, more than 180 matching gift cards and more than six dozen new unopened Apple products, according to McMahon’s office, which thanked Apple. and American Express for cooperating with the investigation.
“My office will always remain vigilant against scams and other schemes and we encourage anyone who thinks they have been scammed to contact my office,” McMahon said.
Scams can be reported directly to the Richmond County Attorney’s Office by calling the Scam Helpline at (718) 556-7226 (SCAM) or by contacting the office at: [email protected] .gov