AN IT worker and a mobile phone shop owner joined carried out a scam worth £14,000 involving stolen iPhones.
Janis Petersons and Ifzal Mohmood’s illegal enterprise was uncovered when police raided Mohmood’s shop, Phones Extra, in Wakefield.
Leeds Crown Court heard Petersons, 27, was an IT worker for a firm which had a sub contract dealing with iPhones returned to the O2 depot at Normanton, near Wakefield.
Part of Petersons duties involved him working with handsets which had been returned to the depot the depot by customers.
Suspicions were first raised in December 2011 when eight phones were reported missing. Police were contacted the following month and some of the missing were linked to Mohmood’s shop in Wakefield.
Mohmood, 31, was arrested and admitted to accepting phones from someone without asking questions and selling them in his shop. The court heard around 40 iPhones, worth around £400 each, went missing in total.
Petersons was arrested and initially denied involvement in the scam. He later said that other people at the depot were involved the illegal operation and said for every three iPhones he took a security guard received one.
Petersons, of Lindsay Avenue, Lupset, pleaded guilty to theft and Mohmood, of Heaton Road, Bradford, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Robin Freize, for Petersons, said his client committed the offence after getting into financial problems as a result of family difficulties and a drink problem.
The court heard Mohmood was also having financial troubles at the time after his business was flooded and he was waiting for an insurance pay out.
He reluctantly took part in the offence after being approached by Petersons.
Petersons was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.
Mohmood was given an eight month sentence, suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work. They were both ordered to pay £500 court costs.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “In your case Petersons it was a gross breach of trust, stealing from your employer. It was committed over a long period of time and others were clearly involved.
“In your case Mohmood you had a business. You were very close to Petersons and you knew that he had a regular outlet for these phones.”