Two Nanjing, Jiangsu Province men were fined for sabotaging an online auction after they pushed the price of a used iPhone up to more than 270,000 yuan ($41,600), Legal Daily reported Saturday.
The suspects, surnamed Che and Liu, were charged with interfering with a legal auction when they artificially bumped up the price of the used iPhone 7 from its 1,000 yuan starting bid on e-commerce site Taobao, the People's Court in Nanjing's Qinhuai district found.
Not able to pay the astronomical price, the winning bidder Che eventually turned himself in to authorities.
Che claimed his numerous bids responsible for driving the price were simple mistakes."I placed the final bid because I misread the price," Che said.
Liu, who made a total 124 bids, told the court he placed bids as part of a prank and had never intended to purchase the listed item.
Che and Liu were fined a total 30,000 yuan ($4,632), the court ruled.
Interfering with legal auctions is against the law in China and offenders can face criminal charges.