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Tricksters pretend ice cubes in parcels are iPads (plan melts)

Two men hatch a risky ruse. They decide to pack ice cubes into parcels and insure them as if they were iPads. The idea is to collect the insurance money when the "iPads" aren't delivered.

EmEtic23/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

For a plan to be successful, it needs good conception, fine execution, and a touch of good fortune.

Please, like judges on "Iron Chef," score the following plan according to these three criteria.

Here's the plan. We'll take some ice cubes. We'll stuff them into parcels. Next, we'll take the parcels to our local post office.

Now here's the clever part. We'll say they're iPads, send them as special delivery and insure them for 2,500 British pounds (almost $4,000). Then we'll say the iPads never got there and claim compensation.

What can possibly go wrong?

You might think I have lost the passcode to my faculties. However, the plan I am describing was precisely that followed by two gentlemen who wanted to make a little money.

Their names are Nathan Meunch and Nigel Bennett. As the Mirror reports, these two cunning Brits executed this plan to near-perfection.

They did, it's fair to say, strike an early obstacle.

Elaine Sloane, the lady at the post office in Telford, U.K., explained: "I just happened to say to the gentleman: 'Is it raining outside?' and he said yes. But it seemed strange to me because I could see from where I was sitting it didn't look like it was raining."

Meunch, you see, had areas of damp adorning his jacket.

Still, Sloane took the parcel. However, a short while later there was dampness among the parcels marked for special delivery.

This was caused by the melting iCubes.

Sloane revealed to the Shropshire Star: "We had a little look and you could see all ice in there. He had sent it as iPads and I couldn't believe it was all this water and the box was disintegrating."

Still, the parcel was secured and actually sent. Sticking to their plan, a claim for compensation was duly filed by Meunch.

Oh, but staff at the post office had already noted the parcel's dubious nature. So when the claim came in, the authorities were ready.

Bennett's lawyer said that his client was short of money. However, in a less than spirited defense, he also described the plan as "rather pathetic."

The two men were found guilty of fraud Monday. Their punishment was to go and work at Foxconn for a year. I am sorry, I don't have that quite right.

In fact, they were given a 12-month community order -- they must spend time working in the community. They must also spend 150 hours working in court.

This whole plan almost makes the people who sold wooden iPads for $180 seem like savvy entrepreneurs.