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Tue Mar 31 2009 23:24:19

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

By: Ina Steiner

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A couple appeared on the Dr. Phil television program in November and told the psychologist they were professional shoplifters who had stolen almost $1 million in goods over the past seven years. The FBI raided the couple's home last week, according to an article today on the NorthCountyTimes.com website.

The gossip and entertainment site TMZ reported that the couple was allegedly selling the stolen goods on eBay using the account matt_hts. It's not clear how they tied that eBay User ID with the couple in question.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is pushing for legislation to combat "organized retail crime" (ORC). RILA said ORC involves sophisticated crime rings that move from store to store stealing large quantities of goods. The stolen merchandise is then sold, often to unknowing customers, through flea markets, swap meets, pawn shops and, increasingly, on Internet auction sites, RILA says.





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FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Apr 1 02:24:43 2009

Once a law enforcement agency establishes probable cause that a crime or crimes have been committed, they can obtain warrant(s) from a judge.

A search warrant, for example, might have been issued to seize the computer of the suspects. The suspects' ebay user ID could have been determined by examining the computer's hard drives.

Another possibility -- not necessarily exclusive of the first -- is that the FBI obtained a warrant compelling ebay/PayPal to disclose the suspects' user ID.

The ebay site is well known among law enforcement agencies to be one of the largest if not the largest fencing operation in the western world.

Ebay's new "secondary market" philosophy will, among other things, increase the amount of stolen merchandise on the website as ebay continues to devise ways to pressure sellers into selling for less and less.

And, of course, this cannily intended probable consequence gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "secondary market."

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Wed Apr 1 04:58:44 2009

$1 million over 7 years....

$143,000 per year....

Tens of thousands of unsold items....

At least 10% ebay+paypal fees....

Time to shoplift....

Time to list thousands of items....

Time to package/ship thousands of items...

What kind of moron takes that big of a risk for such a small amount of money?  Oh wait, probably the kind of moron that goes on national TV and admits to thousands of crimes.

People are so stupid.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: @bob

Wed Apr 1 07:37:04 2009

I thought the same thing. Go on National TV ! and show how you steal and sell online. LOL.
What i did like was more bad press for ebay.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: ebay=penny stock

Wed Apr 1 07:46:34 2009

Gotta be another Ebay glitch. You don't really think that ebay would allow stolen goods to be sold do you??????  HAHAHA

And they made how much in fees??

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: Joe

Wed Apr 1 07:56:26 2009

Perhaps the FBI will try to recover all those listing and FVF fee's from ebay for the stolen goods...
PERHAPS ALSO THE FBI MIGHT JUST START TO INVESTIGATE EBAY THEMSELVES AND HOW THEY VIOLATE FEDERAL LAWS EACH AND EVERYDAY. I can dream can't I...

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: Patricia

Wed Apr 1 12:51:34 2009

Were the ebay fees confiscated?  If not, they should have been.  Losing revenue is the only thing that moves Ebay these days!

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Wed Apr 1 13:52:22 2009

Yeah..but..the site won't look like a "flea market" when they have only ""NEW" with tags" items on ebay! Isn't that what Mr Donahoe wants? I guess he doesn't care that the stuff is stolen. As long as the buyer is happy.

After all, the buyer is who it is all about, and the seller has to make the buyer happy by giving them a "good deal" that ebay can take a big chunky percentage out of!

Good luck, Mr Donahoe, and hope you never have to wear second hand clothing.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: booger

Wed Apr 1 17:27:50 2009

If people are stealing new goods from retail stores and then selling them on Ebay, then the new items will be just as suspect as the used ones.  The problem is, if they root them all out of Ebay, the crooks will just go somewhere else. Sadly, they always manage to find a market for their ill-gotten goods. Look at all the morons who buy low-priced "designer" goods and actually believe they're real and not counterfeit. Even if they do know they're buying fakes, they often don't even care, as long as the price is right. Consumers primarily care about the bottom line, especially in a crappy economy. As long as that's the case, there will always be a market for stolen and counterfeit goods.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: Herb Rules

Wed Apr 1 17:41:20 2009

That's true booger. We have consignments shops in town. They do not asked where the goods come from or for any proof whatsoever.

Newspapers; stuff for sale in the classifieds could be stolen, yet no one expects the newspapers to police the goods.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: booger

Wed Apr 1 17:58:23 2009

So true, Herb Rules. The only reason Ebay and other online venues are being targeted so vehemently is because they're the major competition for all the B&M retailers. I'm not opposed to fighting fraud and theft, but I think the RILA has definite ulterior motives here. They are, after all, one of the driving forces behind pushing the Internet sales tax issue.  As for Ebay, I'd like to see them spend more time fighting fraud and marketing to bring in buyers instead of just making it harder for everyone to do business there. They need to home in on the fraud and not simply use the "big brush" when implementing all their new rules and policies. That's one thing that would help all of us.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: kitty

Wed Apr 1 19:33:06 2009

Question:  Isn't Dr.Phil just as much to blame be knowing the identity of the theives and not turning the names over to the proper authorities immeadiately?
The real losers are us consumers.
We pay more for the items in the store to compensate for their losses.
After eBay turns over the criminal's info and trading history, the police attempt to confiscate as much of the sold goods.  The customer at the end may lose the item, not be able to get their money back.  Their only crime was to trust an online site.
We all lose when stolen goods are involved.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: SOSDD

Fri Apr 3 03:13:30 2009

This is hardly the first monumental stolen goods related story emerging from ebay. I scarcely think it will be the last either. There have been countless others.
Ebay loves fencing stolen goods. It is a big part of their pioneering business plan. They are rightfully known as the world's biggest organized crime ring. Complete with their crews of stooges - shills - trolls running all over the internet.
Put everything into a real world point of view. Al Capone could have learned a lot from ebay and paypal.
As long as ebay is deriving profits from this sort of thing they are in fact partners in crime. There has never been a situation which cried out for regulation and oversight as badly ebay and paypal do. The average pawnshop has more rules and regs than ebay and paypal.

Simple as that.

FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters   FBI Targets Dr. Phil's Alleged eBay Shoplifters

by: kristy

Sun Apr 5 16:15:49 2009

Great job FBI now go get the rest of the crooks on ebay,includeing the excutives and ebays fraudlent buyer protrection plans.Were suppose to be a nation with freedom i agree,but we allso have laws lets use them.



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