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Apple Store employee accused of stealing nearly $1M in gift cards

Queens Center Mall Apple Store.

As the result of an internal investigation, Apple Store employee in New York was arrested and charged with a number of crimes, including grand larceny, for purchasing $997,000 worth of gift cards using recoded credit and debit cards.

According to NBC Channel 4 News, Ruben Profit conducted his illegal operation out of Apple's Queens Center Mall location, where he would use Visa and American Express gift, debit and pre-paid credit cards to load up multiple Apple gift cards and sell them to an unidentified third party at heavily discounted rates. Profit has been an Apple retail employee since December 2013.

Apple caught wind of the scheme when it began to receive charge-backs on the fraudulent gift cards being circulated by Profit. An investigation started sometime in October.

The fraudster told authorities he would be compensated $200 for each $2,000 Apple gift card. When he was arrested, Profit reportedly had seven Apple gift cards worth $2,000 each in his possession, as well as 51 Visa and American Express gift cards that were re-encoded with credit card information.

It is not entirely clear where Profit obtained the valid credit card information to be encoded onto surrogate cards, but similar gambits in the U.S. have used stolen data posted to the so-called "Dark Web." Recoding magnetic swipe cards with information from another account is a form of fraud.

If convicted, Profit could face up to 15 years behind bars, the report said.