Officials: Calif. Pair Made $4M from Stolen Phones

4 years 1 month 1 week ago March 12, 2013 Mar 12, 2013 Tuesday, March 12 2013 Tuesday, March 12, 2013 7:30:44 PM CDT in News
By: Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A California couple have been charged with collecting hundreds of stolen smartphones from across the nation, then selling them in Hong Kong for as much as $2,000 each.

The state attorney general says they made nearly $4 million in just eight months.

Officials say 39-year-old Shou Lin Wen and his wife, 27-year-old Yuting Tan, were arraigned Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court on eight felony counts of money laundering, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.

They are jailed with bail set at $1 million each.

Neither entered a plea, and their attorney declined comment.

Prosecutors say the couple recruited people from homeless shelters to sign up for multiyear service contracts that let them buy multiple smartphones at a discount.

The charges allege they had no intention of paying the service contracts.

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