According to The Logic, an Ontario electronics recycling firm is being sued by Apple, alleging the company stole and resold iOS and watchOS devices instead of destroying them.
GEEP Canada is being accused of reselling 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches, according to Apple’s lawsuit.
Apple says Barrie-based GEEP and members of its senior management team were aware of its activity. GEEP denies all wrongdoing and says when it discovered the reselling ring, it shut it down immediately.
As for damages, Apple is seeking $31 million from GEEP, plus proceeds made from selling iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
GEEP was hired by Apple back in the fall of November 2014 to assist in recycling old products instead of being discarded into landfills.
Apple says it sent 531,966 iPhones, 25,673 iPads and 19,277 Apple Watches to GEEP to be recycled from the start of 2015 to the end of 2017, according to lawsuit, seen by The Logic.
“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed. These misappropriated devices were then subsequently sold at a significantly higher price than other recycled materials to downstream vendors who refurbished and resold the devices to consumers,” explains Apple’s suit, filed in January.
Apple discovered GEEP was moving devices into areas not under camera surveillance after auditing the Ontario company’s warehouse. The iPhone maker found 18% of devices shipped to GEEP were active on wireless carrier networks.
While some devices like Wi-Fi iPads won’t show up on carrier networks, which Apple says makes the total number of stolen products higher.
GEEP says the reselling ring was due to three “rogue” employees, Roger Micks, Edward Cooper and Steven White, who sold the devices to Fu Yuan Yang at Whitby Recycling. Yang then sold these Apple devices to people in China.
GEEP’s third-party claim from July says it wants these employees, Yang and Whitby Recycling to pay damages if Apple wins, plus cover its legal fees.
The Ontario recycler says it has suffered “extensive business losses” due to the incident and its reputation, to go with Apple cancelling its contract.