Feeds

3Com bitten by rebate scam

$90,000 down - and counting?

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

A California couple has been indicted for wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering for their gaming of 3Com's Trade-Up rebate program. One has been arrested. The other is on the lam.

Sheng Qiang (aka Becky Qiang, aka Becky Sheng Qiang) was arrested at her home in Palo Alto, California, last Friday. Hubby Yezhou Zhao (aka Jake Zhao, aka Jake Chao) remains on the run from the feds.

Considering the amount of money the couple is accused of bilking from 3Com, Yezhou/Jake can afford to keep moving for quite some time. Travelling first-class.

According to the indictment, filed on June 15 at the US District Court in San José, California, the couple submitted a series of "false and fraudulent 'Trade-Up' rebate requests" to 3Com from 2003 until 2008.

3Com's description of the Trade-Up program says that it was intended to incentivise companies to "trade-in old technology and move up to specific models of new 3Com products". It planned to do this by providing rebates of up to 20 per cent to be applied the purchase of new 3Com equipment - but only if the rebate seeker would certify that older equipment had been "destroyed."

The Zhao-Qiang gang were incentivised by the rebate part - it was the purchasing of the new equipment and the destruction of old equipment that they're alleged to have skipped.

The indictment states that the couple filed false Trade-Up rebate requests totalling $89,766.95. To support their scam, they allegedly created multiple fake personal and company names, and used those names to open private mailboxes at UPS stores and Mail Boxes Etc. locations, then instructed those stores' employees to forward the cheques to their home.

Exactly how 3Com was fooled into writing nearly $90,000 worth of cheques for equipment that was never duly destroyed is not discussed in the indictment. And 3Com's rebate form (PDF) requires a wealth of information, including "end-user invoice[s] with purchases of eligible products clearly indicated."

The alleged rebate-ripoff wrongdoers are also being charged with aiding and abetting international money laundering, but the figure involved in those nine counts is more than twice that of the Trade-Up scam: $214,715.

We're sure that the Feds would like to ask Yezhou Zhao about that discrepancy, should they track him down. Or maybe Sheng Qiang will sing if she decides that her better half has left her to face the music alone.

Or possibly 3Com might discover that it has written $100,000 more bad checks. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.