Apple is suing a company in Canada it claims resold more than 100,000 devices it sent to be recycled.
The technology giant sent more than 500,000 old iPhones, Watches and iPads to Geep Canada from 2015 to 2017.
But after carrying out an audit in 2018, it discovered 18% of them were still accessing the internet, it says.
Geep, which filed its own legal action in July, blames three rogue employees and says it was unaware what was going on at its plant in Barrie, Ontario.
The company is now part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners, which said: "The employees named have never been employed by Quantum."
Apple filed the legal paperwork in January.
But it has only recently been made public, The Logic reports.
"Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers," Apple told The Verge.
"And if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts, they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects."