A former manager at Apple manufacturer Foxconn apparently had a lucrative iPhone theft scheme going on for some time, but is now the one about to pay.
Citing Taiwanese prosecutors, AsiaOne reports that the man, who is identified by his family name Tsai, has been indicted for stealing thousands of iPhones in China. From 2013 to 2014, the man and his accomplices reportedly stole around 5,700 iPhones and sold them to stores, raking in nearly $2.2 million. Tsai alone reportedly pocketed $1.56 million in the scheme.
According to the report, he worked in the iPhone testing department and "instructed eight employees at Foxconn's factory in the southern mainland Chinese city of Shenzhen to smuggle out about thousands of iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s." They then sold the phones, which were supposed to be trashed, to stores in Shenzhen.
Foxconn discovered the scheme during an internal audit, and alerted Taiwanese authorities, according to AsiaOne. Tsai has been charged with "breach of trust" and is facing 10 years in jail.
Word has it that Foxconn has been studying the feasibility of moving iPhone production to the US. Japanese newspaper Nikkei last month reported Apple asked Foxconn and another Taiwanese iPhone assembler Pegatron earlier this year to look into making the handsets in the states.
Moving iPhone production to the US would undoubtedly be more costly for Cupertino. One source told the newspaper that production costs would more than double.
Foxconn, meanwhile, has faced some troubling times in recent years, between fires and a deadly explosion to worker suicides and allegations of slave-like working conditions.