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Thwarted $180k scam targeting Amway one of multiple across the Midwest


A recent scheme targeting a west Michigan-based business shines light on a multi-million dollar criminal landscape.

The scheme allegedly involved a $180,000 order of iPhones, fraudulently purchased through an Amway World Headquarters Verizon account.

An FBI investigator says it’s one of multiple recent cases of similar fraud.

According to charges filed in Western District Court, an Amway employee account was exploited to gain access to the company’s Verizon account. Close to 200 iPhones were then fraudulently ordered on behalf of the business.

Antonio Davis and Keishun Brown were arrested earlier this month after authorities say they attempted to take delivery of the phones at Amway’s headquarters in Ada Township. The two face charges including identify theft, mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Police say the two also admitted to another attempted scam in the Grandville area.

FBI Special Agent John King says in court paperwork that Verizon has identified more than 6,100 devices fraudulently ordered through about 200 businesses in five Midwest states over the past four months.

The devices have an overall market value of more than $4 million.

King says illegal sale of the phones can be worth at least double the domestic retail price.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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