Apple iPhone models. Courtesy Apple

Three brothers and their wives pleaded guilty to federal charges for running a scheme to traffic fraudulently obtained iPhones and iPads, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

According to prosecutors, the defendants, from San Diego, imported counterfeit iPhones and iPads from China and exchanged the fake items at “hundreds” of Apple stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Prosecutors say the defendants attempted to exchange more than 10,000 of these counterfeit products at stores during the scheme, which operated for around eight years.

The genuine products they received exported to people in foreign countries, resulting in a total loss of around $6.1 million to Apple.

As part of their plea deals, the defendants agreed to forfeit their interests in five San Diego residences, more than $250,000 in criminal proceeds and more than 200 Apple iPhones.

The brothers, Zhiwei, Zhimin and Zhiting Liao, pleaded guilty Thursday along with their wives, Dao Trieu La, Mengmeng Zhang, and Tam Thi Minh Nguyen.

Six other co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

– City News Service