Lawsuit claims Apple, Mafia sent threats via iPod

Man sues Apple, St. Louis police, and others, claiming a receiver had been installed on his iPods allowing the Mafia to transmit threats. Seeks $14.2 million in damages.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple

Gregory McKenna, of Florissant, Mo., is suing Apple because he says two of the company's iPods contained illegal receivers that allowed the Mafia to send him threatening messages, according to court documents obtained by CNET.


Filed Wednesday in a St. Louis district court, the suit names as defendants the St. Louis Police Department, unknown agents of the FBI, Apple, a private investigator, and an auto mechanic.

The alleged motive for the threats was that the Mafia wanted McKenna to work as a fashion model for them at a New York modeling agency. McKenna said he called local police and the FBI field office, but allegedly nothing was done. This allegedly allowed the Mafia members to "stalk, threaten, attempt rape, and kidnap" him.

McKenna said that in 2005, he purchased an iPod Shuffle on eBay and discovered that when listening to the device the Mafia was able to send audio threats to the device. This was allegedly enabled through a receiver installed by Apple.

A second device, an iPod Mini, was also enabled to allow the Mafia to generate death threats, according to the lawsuit.

McKenna also said he hired a private investigator to search his home and car. He claims the investigator found listening devices in his bedroom, living room, upstairs bathroom, and his Toyota Camry. When asked to confirm his findings by police, the private investigator said he found nothing.

The lawsuit is claiming damages in the amount of $14.2 million.