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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 340 - June 21, 2002 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

eBay PowerSeller Charged with Grand Larceny, Begins Making Restitution

By David Steiner
June 21, 2002

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A New York City man, charged with one count of 2nd degree Grand Larceny and one count of 1st degree Scheme to Defraud, has reportedly begun sending refunds to buyers. Neil Bansal, aged 24, was arrested in his home on May 13th after 32 complaints, totaling more than $50,000, were lodged against him by customers who claimed they purchased Sony Vaio Laptops, Pioneer Plasma televisions and Bose Speakers from him on eBay between November 2001 and March 2002.

Victor Montanez, who purchased a Bose DVD-based home entertainment system from Bansal on eBay in February, told AuctionBytes that he received a check a week ago in the amount of $1844.99 that was sent by the New York DA's office and drawn on an account of Bansal's parents. Montanez said he has been in touch with other users who also report receiving refunds.

Bansal allegedly sold on eBay under the name shakes955, an ID that was registered on eBay on August 1998. Victor Montanez said he did his homework before bidding on Bansal's auction. "Shakes955" had 188 feedbacks and was an eBay PowerSeller. "I reviewed the feedback, and he seemed like a reputable dealer," Montanez said.

David Gordon, Bansal's attorney, maintains that his client is not guilty of the charges and has reimbursed most, if not all of the customers. "We're confident that when all the facts come out, it will be shown that Neil was the victim here and he did not attempt to defraud anybody."

Bansal bought his merchandise through J.C. Morris & Co in Atlanta, according to Gordon. Gordon said his records will prove that Bansal had ordered all of the items from J.C. Morris & Co. and has proof that his client had sent money to the distributor. "He [Bansal] paid the company for Sony laptops, Palmtops and Bose Sound systems," said Gordon. "Everything was fine until J.C. Morris stopped making deliveries." Gordon said his client had filed a complaint against J.C. Morris & Co. with the FBI, FTC and the Better Business Bureau of Atlanta on April 24.

A notice on the J.C. Morris & Co. Web site last month (http://www.jcmorris.com) stated that the company would be filing for bankruptcy on May 29th. The page has been updated to state that J.C. Morris will be reopening June 24th, 2002.

"I'm certainly delighted at receiving the refund," said Montanez. "However, I think that facts that come out at Bansal's trial will speak for themselves. The justice system will determine whether it was intentional deception on his part or not."

Previous Story: eBay PowerSeller Arrested for Grand Larceny and Scheme to Defraud May 24, 2002 http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abn/y02/m05/i24/s01

About the author:

David Steiner is President of Steiner Associates LLC, publisher of EcommerceBytes.com and the EveryPlaceISell.com merchant directory. David, a former television producer, handles business development and advertising for EcommerceBytes. You can reach him at dsteiner@ecommercebytes.com

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