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eBay Scammer Sentenced to 14 Years

eBay Scammer Sentenced to 14 Years

The government said the head of an eBay sales scam was sentenced to over 14 years in prison after accusing him of pretending to part of an eBay program in order steal money through fake car sales.

The Department of Justice said the Ohio man pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to commit money laundering. As part of his sentencing, he is ordered to pay over $10 million in restitution.

According to the government press release, the scheme took place from 2015 until October 2018:

“He and the other co-conspirators were part of a network that attracted online customers through fraudulent postings for vehicle sales.

“Defendants communicated with victims through email and phone, posing as employees of eBay, and used third parties to open bank accounts in the names of shell corporations that appeared to be affiliated with eBay.

“They instructed victims to wire funds to various third-party bank accounts they set up.

“They claimed to be affiliated with eBay’s Buyer Protection Program, when in fact, no such relationship existed.”

Two alleged co-conspirators were also sentenced in the case (one to 5 months in prison, another to six months of home confinement as part of five years of federal probation).

Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel said, “Now, through restitution, we hope to get that money back to (the victims),” adding: “This case serves as an unfortunate reminder that scammers will find new and sinister ways to relieve you of your hard-earned dollars.”

You can find the full press release on the Justice.gov website.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.