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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York prosecutors on Wednesday charged 27 people with purchasing stolen credit card numbers and using them to buy Apple products they later sold on the black market.
The accused were part of two crime rings that purchased more than $1 million worth of iPads, iPhones and MacBooks at Apple stores across the country using homemade credit cards imprinted with stolen account numbers, prosecutors said.
The Brooklyn-based rings purchased the credit card numbers online from data traffickers likely located in Eastern Europe, investigators said.
They said the rings then deployed shoppers armed with the fake cards to Apple stores nationwide, and the bounty was sold through illegal fences in Brooklyn.
The charges filed by the Manhattan district attorney's office included grand larceny and conspiracy and spanned a period from June 2008 to December 2010.
Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton