Alleged smartphone fraudster arrested

An unemployed man is accused of bilking customers out of at least 10 million yuan in a discount smartphone scheme. 

An unemployed man who allegedly made at least 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in a discount smartphone scam has been arrested for fraud, prosecutors in the Pudong New Area said on Tuesday.

According to the Pudong New Area People's Procuratorate, the alleged fraudster, surnamed Sun, told his girlfriend, surnamed Cao, that he worked for a data company and could use his connections to acquire smartphones at heavily discounted prices.

Since Cao worked as a trader of consumer items, she decided to start selling phones obtained via Sun. At first she asked Sun to write receipts for the phones and also made copies of his identity card, according to prosecutors.

Eventually, as Cao began to trust Sun, she allegedly helped organize several larger orders and introduced Sun to other retailers.

However, starting in October of last year, Sun's deliveries began to slow. Many customers who had paid in advance did not receive their items and pressured Cao for refunds, prosecutors said.

Cao eventually took the matter to the police, and an investigation allegedly found that Sun had used money from larger orders to buy a house, a car and other luxuries for himself.


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