An identity thief was able to buy nearly $100,000 worth of bitcoin, and more than $600,000 worth of luxury goods, using stolen credit cards and Apple Pay.
This was reported by Apple Insider, which tells the story of Aaron Laws, from Atlanta, who bought more than 500 stolen credit card numbers on the dark web, then put them on mobile phones equipped with Apple Pay to make purchases without being in possession of the physical cards.
According to MarketWatch, Laws also involved several other people in the scam, including his childhood friends Dennison Ellis and Jeffrey Mayfield.
The purchases took place between February 2017 and December 2018, online but also at Apple Stores and jewellery stores.
Moreover, on 23 August 2017, Laws bought bitcoin by investing $93,000. At the time one BTC was worth about $4,000, so the approximately 23 BTC purchased by Laws in 2017 would be worth more than $700,000 today.
The news has only now been made public because it has become public knowledge that Laws has been sentenced to three years in prison and the restitution of $624,000.
The thief pleaded guilty, admitting that he made many bad decisions. He also revealed that he struggled with depression and substance abuse after a knee injury prevented him from playing college basketball.
Accomplices Ellis and Mayfield also pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to prison, and restitution of $283,000 and $181,000 respectively.
Is Apple buying bitcoin? Rumours
In the meantime, reports have been circulating on social networks that Apple has invested $2.5 billion to buy bitcoin, and is about to reveal this.
However, there are strong doubts about the reliability of these reports, for several reasons.
For one, they do not come from reliable sources, and have not been confirmed by the company.
Moreover, the sources themselves have not disclosed the original sources, and have even joked about it as if it were a prank.
Finally, the original report claimed that the announcement would be published on Monday, but this did not happen.
Despite this, no denial from the company has been forthcoming, so the possibility of a bitcoin purchase cannot yet be completely ruled out. There have also been other rumours lately about Apple entering the crypto sector, for example with its own exchange, or with services related to payments, especially after a recent announcement that it was looking for personnel with expertise with regard to Bitcoin.
In addition, a few days ago, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed strong support for Bitcoin.