By Sadef Ali Kully

A 24-year-old man was charged Tuesday with grand larceny and other related charges for allegedly re-coding credit and debit cards while working at the Apple store in Queens Center Mall, and then using the re-coded cards to buy legitimate Apple gift cards worth nearly $1 million, the Queens DA said.

Ruben Profit, from 210th Street in Cambria Heights, was arraigned Oct. 16 before Judge Toko Serita on counts of grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and criminal possession of stolen property, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

According to the criminal complaint, Profit began working for Apple in December 2013, transferring to the Apple retail store at Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst when it opened in July.

“The defendant is accused of using his tech skills to rig the values on both American Express and Visa gift cards and then using them to purchase gift cards from his employer, the Apple Store,” Brown said. “The young man, a trusted employee who worked both as a salesperson and tech support, is accused of breaking that trust as well as the law.”

Prosecutors said that while working at the Queens Apple store, Profit allegedly purchased numerous Apple gift cards using Visa and American Express gift, debit or prepaid cards between Aug. 2 and Oct. 15. The total value of the Apple gift cards was approximately $997,700, according to the criminal complaint.

Apple began getting notifications of chargebacks, purchases deemed to be fraudulent, on the Apple gift cards that Profit purchased, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Profit was allegedly in possession of 51 Visa and American Express gift cards with magnetic strips fraudulently re-encoded with credit card information.

Profit allegedly told police that he was paid $200 for each $2,000 Apple gift card he provided to another individual, the complaint said. He also allegedly had seven Apple gift cards valued at $2,000 each in his possession, Brown said.

Profit was ordered held on $20,000 bail and to return to court on Nov. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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