Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weird Crime: iPad Fraud Can Be a Cold Mistress

(photo @ destructoid.com)



Wellington, England

On May 14 of 2012, 29-year-old Nathan Meunch walked into the Wellington Post Office with a package that he wanted delivered. Elaine Sloane, the counter clerk who greeted him, noticed that Nathan's jacket look a bit damp and inquired if it was raining outside.

When Nathan answered that it was, Elaine became suspicious...most likely because she could clearly see from a window near her work station that it was not raining at all. Probably figuring that he was just not paying attention (or a compulsive liar), Elaine shrugged it off and asked him what he would like to deliver.

Nathan informed her that he was mailing a set of iPads that were valued at approximately $4,000. They were to be sent by special delivery and fully insured. When Elaine asked for a return address, however, Nathan couldn't remember what it was. This probably should have raised another red flag, but she might have just assumed that he had an incredibly bad memory on account of him forgetting what the weather was just like outside.


It's not like everyone has an iPhone that can let them know when it's raining.


About an hour after Nathan dropped off his parcel and left, another post office employee noticed a puddle of water forming underneath the package. After investigating the cause of wetness, they discovered that the "iPads" were actually just blocks of ice.

At that moment, it became clear that either something had gone catastrophically wrong at the Apple manufacturing plant, or that Nathan was trying to pull off a (terribly planned) scam. 

Look, trying to commit mail insurance fraud with fake iPads is wrong...but if you are going to do it, why in the heck would you use ice? There are any number of products or materials that could have been substituted AND wouldn't have suffered the logistical pitfall of melting after a short period of time away from freezing temperatures....IN THE MIDDLE OF MAY.

                           sodahead.com
It's people like Nathan who ask "What do they 
do with ice sculptures after they've melted?"


I'm not sure if it was to maintain the integrity of the investigation or just to make the suspect feel even stupider, but the post office actually still delivered the package its recipient, 39-year-old Nigel Bennett. Sure enough, a few days after delivering the boxes of melted ice, the post office got an insurance claim for the around $4,000.

The two men's scheme was easily exposed by the authorities, who charged charged both of them with fraud. At the trial, even Bennett's own lawyer referred to their plan as "rather pathetic."

On Monday, August 12 of 2013, both Nigel Bennett and Nathan Meunch were sentenced to 12 months of community service, 150 hours of unpaid work for the court system, and a £500 (approximately $775) fine.

Nathan Meunch


Nigel Bennett
The pair were also sentenced to 1 year of having to use the Nexus 7 tablet


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