Yi Zhong … admitted recruiting children to pick up the proceeds of crime.A man accused of using stolen credit card details to buy iPhones allegedly recruited children to pick up the phones and resell them on web trading site Gumtree for him.
Yi Zhong, 22, of Strathfield, has been charged with 58 offences, mostly relating to a sophisticated racket he allegedly devised to obtain people’s credit card details, use them to buy at least 30 iPhones from major retailers and then sell them.
But police allege he did not stop at “dishonestly obtaining” iPhones. Mr Zhong allegedly used the details of stolen credit cards to buy $347 worth of flowers from Urban Flowers Concord, thousands of dollars worth of flights, hotel suites in Brisbane and Melbourne, clothes from General Pants Co., two GHD gold hair stylers and a $5995 bottle of Johnnie Walker rare scotch whisky.
In Burwood Local Court today, Mr Zhong’s solicitor, Wasim Jabakhangi, entered guilty pleas to 21 of the 58 charges, including two charges of recruiting a child to carry out or assist in criminal activity.
He pleaded guilty to recruiting a teenage girl, who cannot be named, to pick up the proceeds of crime at a Fedex depot in Rydalmere and receive stolen property at an Edensor Park address earlier this year. He recruited another teenage girl, who cannot be named, to list and sell the stolen iPhones on Gumtree.
The court heard that he also recruited an adult, Christie Hui, to purchase and pick-up the bottle of scotch whisky for him from a Vintage Cellars store.
Court documents show that since 2010, Mr Zhong had been accessing two websites, FePrivate.cc and mn0g0.su, and an email address, [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训, to fraudulently obtain the details of about 300 credit cards.
Most of his victims were Australian but 41 were American. He allegedly used the cards to buy at least 30 iPhones for a total of about $30,000 from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Sale-Point Import Export Group.
When police went to his home, it is alleged Mr Zhong also had $8450 in cash and a 55″ Sony television suspected of being stolen.
He pleaded guilty to several charges of using credit cards and “compromised identities” of various people to obtain dozens of iPhones and other goods.
But he has disputed the number of cards he obtained fraudulently and the number of identities he obtained with the intention of using them to commit fraud.
Mr Jabakhangi said he would work with police to reach an agreed set of facts relating to the remaining matters on which Mr Zhong has plead not guilty.
Mr Zhong, who sat in the court wearing jeans, a zip-up jacket and a Fitness First backpack, will return to court later this month.
As part of his strict bail conditions in the interim, he must not access the internet or use a smartphone.
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