EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1273 - May 05, 2006     2 of 5

Man Convicted of Fraud Related to eBay SuperBowl-Ticket Sales

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A Massachusetts man was convicted yesterday on wire and mail fraud charges for a scheme in which he advertised Superbowl tickets on eBay, collected approximately $255,000 from customers, and then never provided either the tickets or refunds. United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Peter Zegarac, Acting Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in New England, announced that Michael R. Deppe, age 20, was convicted after a 7-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, of 3 counts of Wire Fraud and 2 counts of Mail Fraud.

Deppe had previously pled guilty to the portion of the superseding indictment charging mail and wire fraud, stemming from the earlier part of his fraud scheme, in which he received approximately $115,000 in payments for the purported sale of items such as Rolex watches, but never provided the items or refunded the money, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Through eBay advertisements that he wrote and phone calls he had with customers, Deppe persuaded approximately 41 customers to pay approximately $255,460 for Super Bowl tickets that he falsely promised to obtain. Deppe never provided the Superbowl ticket customers with the tickets for which they paid, and he never refunded their money.

"Con men are using twenty-first century tools to commit fraud and the U.S. Attorney's Office and our partners at federal and state investigative agencies are aggressively developing twenty-first century tools to stop them," said U.S. Attorney Sullivan. "We want it to be as safe to buy things over the Internet on eBay as it is to buy them through the mail from catalogues."

Sentencing is scheduled for August 8, 2006. Deppe faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on each of the 15 counts, according to the U.S. Attorney.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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