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5 Weeks and $2 Million Get eBay Seller 4 Years

5 Weeks and $2 Million Get eBay Seller 4 Years

In a 5-week period, a single online seller defrauded hundreds of customers out of nearly $2 million using eBay and PayPal, according to allegations by the Department of Justice.

The government said the seller listed and sold gold bullion and gold coins, receiving payment through PayPal, but never sent the items.

When eBay customers inquired about the status of their purchase, the seller allegedly provided fraudulent shipping and tracking information to delay the discovery that he had not sent the coins.

The defendant will serve four years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $1,371,080.66 in restitution, according to the government press release found on Justice.gov.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

8 thoughts on “5 Weeks and $2 Million Get eBay Seller 4 Years”

  1. Based on those numbers it sounds like this criminal is going to still profit almost $600,000 from this scam. Personally I would not be interested in performing any type of scam, but if he clears $600K for 5 weeks work and 4 years in Federal Prison for many people that is a price they would gladly pay since they would then have all that money waiting for them when they got out. But I am beginning to see why both Ebay and Paypal are anxious to no longer process bullion payments going forward. I am a Silver Bullion collector so this will effect me in some ways but I am already established with those I purchase from so I am sure we will find a good way to still handle things.

  2. He in all probability will only serve 1 yr to 18 mths. and won’t pay back a dime as you can’t get blood out of a turnip and he will in all probability work under the table. Contrary to what everyone is going to preach this is a victimless crime.

  3. @who really cares
    Just curious how this is a victimless crime. Wouldn’t the people expecting coins for their money be the victims of fraud? And out that money if it can’t all be recovered? Asking in sincerity.

  4. Was this a new seller account? How could they list so much in a short amount of time on a new account? Where were the checks and balances from eBay and Paypal to hold funds on a new account? Was this a hacked account? Is this why eBay and Paypal are pulling out of the bullion market?

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