14 Jan 2014 17:35
Steven Barratt was described as a "soldier of distinction" who had excelled on five tours of duty
A Liverpool soldier stole £115,000 of hi-tech army night-vision equipment which his friend put up for sale on eBay.
Steven Barratt, 29, described as a "soldier of distinction" who had excelled on five tours of duty, pinched the classified equipment from an infantry camp in South Wales.
In all, 28 night vision sights of three different types and ammunition magazines were taken, a court was told.
Barratt, of Berwyn Road, Anfield , was jailed for 20 months and dishonourably discharged from the army.
Merthyr Crown Court heard that police became aware of the sale of a piece of night vision equipment on eBay for £2,300 in January 2012 and on investigation found it to be part of the cache stolen from the Dering Lines Infantry Battle School in Brecon.
That eBay account was registered to Jack Carroll, 28, a childhood friend of Barratt's.
When arrested Carroll, of Croxteth Drive, near Sefton Park, claimed he had bought the item from a man in a pub for £100.
Nick Gedge, prosecuting, said both men travelled together to Brecon to carry out the theft and spoke of a "high degree of planning".
He said: "It was the sort of equipment about which there is concern about them falling into the wrong hands.
"These were hi-tech, high quality pieces of equipment that should not be in any other but military hands."
The court heard that Barratt had been at the Brecon school between October and November 2011 on a platoon sergeant battle course.
He had returned to the school on November 14 to complete the course but on November 19, the weekend of the theft, his Volkswagen Passat was traced on its journey by the number plate recognition system from his base to Brecon at midnight and back north.
Barratt, who admitted theft, was to later claim he had travelled the distance to establish whether he was due to attend a further course.
Alexander Greenwood, defending Barratt, said his client had "ruined his life by virtue of his conduct on one night".
He said: "He has been exceptionally stupid and it was a decision he will live with and regret for the rest of his life."
Carroll was jailed for a year after admitting theft. Andrew Davies, defending, said his client did not seek to apportion blame.
A third man, Luke Hirst, 28, of Sandy Lane, Garden City, Deeside, admitted handling stolen goods after placing night vision equipment for sale on a hunting website.
Judge Patrick Curran, QC, jailed him for eight months, suspended for two years.
He will also have to pay £3,000 compensation.
mugshot at link click through...
Donald Hwang was arrested at 6:47 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at his home on the 7000 block of Angora Street in Chino and booked for investigation of possessing stolen property, being a felon in possession of a gun, possessing methamphetamine for sale, jail records show.
His bail is $750,000.
The investigation began Friday when deputies learned that someone was offering on eBay items that had been stolen during a Chino Hills house burglary, sheriff's officials said in a written statement.
An undercover purchase was arranged. And it yielded a stolen camera lens, according to the statement.
Hwang was the seller, deputies said, so they served a search warrant on his home - and reported netting narcotics and the cache of apparently stolen items.
"Detectives believe the stolen items recovered ... are from other Chino Hills residential burglaries and from neighboring cities," the statement concludes.
Anyone with information about the recovered items or the case may call deputies at 909-364-2000.
Aw... too bad... No doubt sleazebay could have used those FVFs. Good thing for them that for every thief, fence, and scammer who gets caught, 10 more sign up.
A FORKLIFT truck driver who stole £40,000 worth of power tools from the warehouse he worked at has been jailed for two years.
Anthony Hart, of Lodden Avenue, Berinsfield, was sentenced on Tuesday at Oxford Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to three counts of theft by an employee.
His accomplice, 30-year-old Yunus Cevahir, received a 12-month suspended sentence for accepting the stolen tools and selling them over the internet.
Jehad Mustafa, prosecuting, said Hart stole Milwaukee power tools from a warehouse in Purchas Road, near Didcot, belonging to logistics firm Kuehne & Nagel.
The barrister said the 44-year-old used his forklift truck to load goods into a waiting car on September 25, September 26 and October 8, 2012.
Mr Mustafa said the father-of-five was caught on the warehouse's CCTV, which was installed after his employers realised tools had gone missing.
He told Judge Gordon Risius that when Hart was spotted acting suspiciously on the footage a private investigator was hired to follow the car he was meeting.
This led them to Cevahir, Mr Mustafa explained, who had been selling the tools on eBay and pleaded guilty to one count of handling stolen goods.
A MAN who sold fake designer clothing on eBay has been ordered to hand over more than Pounds 30,000.
Luke Geoffrey Baker, 24, set up his own eBay shop named Dynamic Look and advertised polo shirts and jeans at discount prices.
He made more than Pounds 2,000 a month before his site was closed down - because they were counterfeit brands.
Baker was sentenced in September of last year but yesterday was back at Mold Crown Court for a financial hearing under The Proceeds of Crime Act.
An order, agreed by both prosecutor Chris Moss and Stephen Edwards, defending, showed that his criminal benefit to be Pounds 30,480.
Judge Philip Hughes made a confiscation order for that sum, and ordered that he should serve 15 months in custody if the money was not paid.
The judge also ordered that a camera and a laptop should be forfeited.
At an earlier hearing Baker admitted three trademarks offences and received an 18 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and he was ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work.
LoL! sleazebay, home of well-worn scams of all types. Click through to read the full report etc
By Mike Petchenik
ROSWELL, Ga. -
A Tucker man faces charges he promised to help a woman sell an authentic pair of Elvis Presley's socks on eBay, then stole the proceeds.... (more)
Only on ebaY!
cue the "Who are the brain police?" music
Bill McCleery, The Indianapolis Star
NDIANAPOLIS -- The details sound like the plot of a bad horror movie: Desperate for cash, a young man breaks into a warehouse to steal the brains of dead mental patients, and the body parts are later sold on eBay.
This story line, however, is real.
Authorities say David Charles, a 21-year-old Indianapolis resident, is accused of breaking into the Indiana Medical History Museum multiple times last year and stealing jars of human brain tissue and other preserved material. A tipster who paid hundreds of dollars on the online auction site helped bring the organ entrepreneurism to an end.
The museum is the site of the former Central State Hospital, which served patients with psychiatric and mental disorders from 1848 to 1994. Indianapolis police had investigated several break-ins at the museum's storage facility before a California phone call led police to Charles.
A San Diego man who had bought six jars of human brain tissue off eBay for $600, plus $70 shipping, called the museum after noticing labels on the containers and suspecting some kind of skulduggery, according to court documents.
Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department used that tip to trace the transactions, eventually speaking to the eBay seller who provided the brain tissue to the San Diego man. That seller had obtained the brain matter from Charles, police said.
Police set up a sting Dec. 16. The eBay middleman set up a meeting at a Dairy Queen parking lot with Charles, who the day before stole 60 jars of human tissue from the museum, according to authorities and court documents.
Once the parking lot deal went down, authorities said, a bust was made. One person with Charles reached for a handgun and was tackled by officers, court documents said. His name and the names of others involved in the case were redacted in the documents.
Charles faces charges of theft, marijuana possession and paraphernalia possession, according to court documents. Investigators also are looking into the possibility of additional charges, said A.J. Deer, a spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor's office.
Whether others are facing charges is unclear.
The museum's executive director expressed dismay that anyone would steal the museum's artifacts. The organ tissues come from about 2,000 patients whose remains were autopsied from about the 1890s through the 1940s.
"It's horrid anytime a museum collection is robbed," Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage said. "A museum's mission is to hold these materials as cultural and scientific objects in the public interest. To have that disturbed - to have that broken - is extraordinarily disturbing to those of us in the museum field."
Nottage, who is grateful that much of the stolen material has been returned, said she spoke to the San Diego man who paid $670 on eBay for human brain tissue.
"He just said he liked to collect odd things," she said.
I have a screencapture of 1 of the listings and the original full size photos here:
A couple from Fort Mill, S.C., are behind bars after police say they stole items from Hobby Lobby and sold them on Ebay. According to arrest records, the couple made around $257,000 from the stolen goods.
The couple targeted Charlotte and Gastonia Hobby Lobby stores over at least a six-month period, police said.
Alejo Vera Jr., 46, and Maria Vera Steele, 58, both of 18031 Greyfield Glen, were charged with felony conspiracy and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Vera was also charged with organized retail theft.
Steele received a $20,000 secured bond, while Vera was given a $6,000 secured bond.
Good golly, it seems that ebay's staff of thousands, along with their sophisticated proactive systems blah blah, missed another huge fraud ring! Who could imagine?
Bear in mind ebay/paypal only makes 'pennies on the dollar'
They probably only made enough here to fuel up the corporate jet for trip to Washington DC. lmao!
One thing here this time though is the seller is long NARU'd.
(Huge mugshots at link)
5:06 p.m. EST, December 31, 2013
A shady theft ring that targeted eyeglass retailer giant LensCrafters made at least $580,000 from illegal sunglass sales on eBay within 13 months, authorities said.
Officials said the group of thieves - most of them from South Florida - hit LensCrafters across the state with distraction thefts, pocketing pricey sunglasses valued as high as $1,000 each.
They have conducted at least eight heists in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties and in Central Florida. The first store to be hit was in Boynton Beach on Nov. 18, 2012.
"They were very good at what they did," said Coral Springs Police Detective Karen Hallman, who led the statewide investigation. "You could be standing right next to them and not realize they just took something."
Why did they choose LensCrafters? Police speculated one possible reason was that its stores had a high-end eyewear collection.
Three of the five suspects are in custody: Nicola Spence-Burrell, 35, of Pompano Beach, Alfonzie Rogers, 58, of Plantation, and Aaron D. Jacobs, 30, of Hollywood.
Authorities still are looking for Levar Smith, 35, of Plantation, and Krystal Brown, 24, of Merritt Island.
In six of the cases, store managers reported seeing either a man - or a team consisting of a man and woman - entering the store and walking away with high-end shades in their pockets. In those six cases, the man was described as a black man with long dreads and gold teeth. In one of the cases, surveillance video caught the man fleeing in a silver Dodge Magnum.
Brown had perfected a sleight-of-hand technique when she and Smith hit a LensCrafters store on University Drive on May 3, Hallman said.
Hallman said a surveillance video showed Smith walking around the store, while Brown pretended to try on sunglasses that were on display. She then appears to be using the mirror to monitor store employees, and is seen slipping other sunglasses into her purse, the detective said.
Although people near the thieves wouldn't realize they had stolen items, "I could see it on the video because I was looking for it," Hallman said.
Hallman, a member of the South Florida Organized Retail Crime Task Force, put out a statewide alert after the Coral Springs heist. Soon, police agencies throughout Florida began contacting her with cases of their own.
In one case in West Melbourne, the thieves "special ordered" a pair of sunglasses and then stole the item, according to the warrant.
A detective with the West Melbourne Police Department found the sunglasses on eBay and purchased them from a seller with an account labeled "OANA 1999." Police were then able to trace sunglasses still listed on eBay to the stolen items reported from the stores. In most cases, the glasses still had a unique item tag number. Such tags usually are removed at the register, police said.
Police then noted that the glasses were being shipped from Jacobs' home in Hollywood. The eBay account showed it had approximately 2,900 transactions for glasses from April 2012 to May 2013 with a total estimated value of $580,000.
Police showed up to Jacobs' home in May. He wasn't expecting them, Hallman said.
"He was in shock," Hallman said.
A search of Jacobs' home found 299 pairs of stolen glasses for an estimated value of $60,000, according to an arrest report. Jacobs told investigators that he had been buying the glasses from Rogers for at least a year at $60 a pair.
Jacobs reportedly agreed to cooperate with police and called Rogers to arrange a sale at a Shell gas station in Hollywood. Police then followed Rogers - driving a silver Dodge Magnum - back to the Plantation apartment he shared with Smith.
Authorities then issued a warrant for all five people. Rogers and Jacobs turned themselves in on Nov. 25. The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested Spence-Burrell on a warrant.
Police suspect that Smith, the man with the long dreadlocks and gold teeth, has since fled to Alabama. Brown is thought to be somewhere in Central Florida.
Officials with LensCrafters headquarters could not be reached for comment.
By Michael Dumas
December 31, 2013
MOBILE, Alabama - The man who in March pleaded guilty to leading a multi-state, multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise selling stolen merchandise on the online auction site eBay was sentenced to prison by a federal judge on Monday.
Jason Christopher Spellen, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 7 years in jail and ordered to pay almost $1.7 million in restitution by Chief U.S. District Judge William Steele for conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
According to court records, Spellen will also be required to forfeit assets from his home and storage unit, and participate in "residential, comprehensive substance abuse treatment while incarcerated."
Judge Steele also ordered he serve his prison sentence at a facility "as close to his family in Atlanta, Georgia as possible," the ruling stated.
Spellen's sentence was far less than what he could have faced, due to consideration given in light of the "substantial assistance" he gave authorities prosecuting others who participated in the theft ring he oversaw, according to court documents. A 40-percent reduction in sentence based on minimum guidelines had been requested by U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown and lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Griffin.
A breakdown of Spellen's plea deal can be found here.
In all, more than a dozen individuals -- including Spellen's brother-- have been charged in the case, which investigators say involved the sale of about 14,000 pieces of electronics equipment and other items - valued between $2.5 million and $7 million - on eBay from 2007 until Dec. 7, 2011.
Most of those charged have pleaded guilty in the case, which spanned 26 states and involved a number of customers in southwest Alabama. Most recently, two members of a group known as the "Detroit Crew" were also sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution.
Reports of the fraudulent purchases prompted an undercover Secret Service agent based in Mobile to make a number of purchases from Spellen, according to reports. Authorities have said the case is Mobile's largest racketeering and corruption prosecution in decades.
In October, it was announced that Griffin, a 33-year veteran federal prosecutor, will be honored by the National Association of Former United States Attorneys for her work dismantling the "sophisticated, interstate conspiracy."
mugshot at link
By Michael Dumas
December 06, 2013
MOBILE, Alabama - In the latest development as part of Mobile's largest racketeering and corruption prosecution in decades, a federal judge has sentenced two men to more than four years in prison apiece for their part in an Atlanta-based theft ring.
According to court records, on Tuesday Chief U.S. District Judge William Steele handed down sentences for Detroit, Mich., natives Joedy Nixon and Tyrone Clark, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges over the summer.
Both men admitted to stealing more than $200,000 worth of electronics from retail stores such as Sam's Club, according to the plea agreement. Those items then ended up in a large Atlanta-area warehouse owned by enterprise ringleader Jason Christopher Spellen, who then sold the items on eBay. Spellen and many of the other defendants in the massive case have already pleaded guilty.
Steele sentenced Nixon and Clark to 51 and 76 months in prison, respectively, and ordered both men to pay an undetermined amount of restitution, as well.
Court records show that the men were paid as much as $25,000 each by Spellen through wire transfers for thefts that occurred between 2007 and 2011.
The two were part of a group referred to as the "Detroit crew," who traveled to Georgia as part of the theft ring. In July, Judge Steele sentenced another member of that crew, Maurice Allen Haggen, to five years' probation and ordered him to make restitution of $26,000 to Wal-Mart.
University graduate Cristina Manda, 24, is accused of lodging 200,000 into four bank accounts here as part of the suspected fraud.
The High Court in Dublin heard last week how Ms Manda was part of an "organised crime gang" who advertised "high-spec" goods - including cars and laptops - on eBay and other websites.
Article continues at link ^ ... but here again:
..."A spokesman said: "Criminal activity is not tolerated on eBay and we work closely with law enforcement authorities to keep eBay safe....."
LoLz! It never fails.
COVINGTON, Ky. -- Special Agents with the FBI announced Monday that a Covington man will be sentenced in March of 2014 for defrauding two internet companies.
Melvin Dietz, Jr., 39, will be sentenced on March 14, 2014 for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Dietz faces a mandatory two year sentence for the identity theft charge and a maximum of 20 years for the wire fraud.
Dietz plead guilty on November 19 that he devised a scheme to defraud two online internet companies, WeBuyUsedCisco.com and Teksavers.com.
Dietz executed his scheme by using PayPal, which is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Through email, he used a fake identity and negotiated a price with a representative of the company for the Cisco equipment.
The amount of money transferred by Teksavers.com to Dietz's PayPal accounts as a result of his fraud totaled approximately $50,240.
eBay Incorporated initiated the investigation with the FBI and the Covington Police.
LoL! Sounds like they're describing the "ebay Now" van as getaway vehicle rotflmao!
Report with video:
The victims of a recent home burglary say they know where their stolen stuff is. Problem is, someone is already trying to sell it.
On the outside, the family's home in Taylor Ranch is full of holiday cheer with lights shining bright. But inside, online shopping has been replaced with online tracking.
One by one, hot air balloon enthusiast Keith Reeves can only look on as some of his precious belongings go up for bid on eBay.
"There's the GPS. There's the knife," said Reeves, pointing to the screen....
^ click through
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Michael Perrault, Flume Staff Writer
AILEY - A Park County deputy followed a trail of pawn slips and eBay purchases to track down a thief who allegedly stole more than $40,000 in property and cash from two victims who live near Lake George.
Cody Allen Hall, 22, was arrested Nov. 4 in Guffey and charged with felony theft, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit filed by Park County Deputy Jennifer Plutt.
(more at link )
Friday, November 15, 2013
By Ali Hammond
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Dillard's employee is accused of switching merchandise and selling it on EBay.
According to police, Lucien Desselle, 24, was an employee in the women's department of the Dillards on Shelbyville Road.
Apparently between the dates of December 1, 2012 and November 14, 2013, Desselle switched merchandise to sell higher priced items to his wife. He also allegedly gave her merchandise she wasn't charged for and also made false returns for store credit.
According to the arrest report, their transactions amount to about $40,000. The couple apparently sold the merchandise on eBay.
Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI agents swarmed into the Jersey City Heights today, arresting a pharmacist on drug production charges and then discovering a large cache of weapons, ammunition and acid at a storage facility at the Tonnelle Circle, officials said.
Jordan Gonzalez, 33, formerly of Jersey City and now of New York, was arrested after law enforcement agents descended on a Bleecker Street building early this morning, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced today.
He is charged with attempting to manufacture methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) and possession of chemicals and materials to manufacture a controlled substance, officials said.
Later, federal agents moved to the U-Haul on Tonnelle Avenue, where a large amount the weapons, ammunition and acid was found, according to two city officials. Information was not immediately available from federal officials on the items found at the U-Haul or if the discovery had led to additional charges being filed or additional arrests.
Federal officials said additional warrants were being served in both New Jersey and New York in connection with the investigation.
Gonzalez used an online auction site, believed to be eBay, to purchase materials associated with the manufacture of the hallucinogen as well as various chemicals, flasks and empty gel caps and a machine to fill them, according to the complaint. The U.S. Attorney's Offices confirmed Gonzalez went by the eBay user name "j0r62n."
And as we see here, still a member in good standing. Private feedback and all. So, very doubtful ebay played any significant role in catching him.
Not to mention all the hardcore drug related, and unlawful weapon/accessories etc garbage they have on their site.
You know what they need on ebaY? They need some ebay logo LSD blotter "artwork"
That would be a perfect compliment to everything else they're serving up over there. lmao
After Costco contacted Siemen's a manager went on eBay to buy hearing aids from user "Johny20122012." The name on the return address on the order was "Laden Hot" in Bloomington. The purchased hearing aids were discovered to have been stolen from the factory.
As you can see, it wasn't ebaY who caught these guys, not through their 'sophisticated proactive' fraud detection software, nor their purported thousands of staff...
In addition, the account mentioned id is still active, showing 0% feedback with 2 negs.
The obligatory screencapture:
Apparently they caught them before they could fence the entire million dollars worth through sleazebay, or they had other accounts, and the investigators quit looking once they found the one.
WATERLOO | An Evansdale man has been arrested after a local business found its stolen equipment for sale on an internet auction site.
Waterloo police arrested Steven Michael Little, 40, of 330 Norman Ave., Saturday at the police station for first-degree theft. He was released from jail later that day.
According to court records, officials at Con Agra Foods, 2701 Midport Blvd., called police in October after noticing the disappearance of four Keyence computerized controllers for high-speed cameras.
The theft, which apparently occurred Sept. 20, was captured on video tape, and during the investigation, officers learned there were four Keyence controllers for sale on eBay. Police linked the eBay user name of the seller to Little and obtained a search warrant for his home, records state. They found four controllers and four high-speed cameras in a kitchen cabinet, records state.
The total amount of the stolen property was estimated at $15,600.
November 8, 2013 6:59 am
A man has admitted a money-spinning scam involving pop concerts at Birminghams LG Arena and the O2 Arena in London.
Matthew Thompson admitted seven fraud charges involving shows starring Beyonce and Take That.
The 33-year-old admitted making £2,985 by selling tickets through eBay that were never sent out.
Thompson from Tudor Vale, Upper Gornal, who has no previous convictions, admitted seven charges of fraud between October 2010 and December 2011.
He was remanded on bail until December 9.
by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
How? you ask ...
here's one from a ways back.
when it's on your mind, it's on ebay...
Full report with video
By Hillary Lake KATU News and KATU.com Staff Published: May 16, 2013 at 9:37 PM PST
VANCOUVER, Wash. - A nonprofit leader is facing federal felony charges accused of running a crime ring. Fred Engh is on the hook for more than half a million dollars in stolen gift cards. Engh got a court-appointed attorney in court Thursday morning. Vancouver lawyer Josephine Townsend said he had no idea he was under investigation. At just 30 years old, Engh has a business degree and is in graduate school. But police believe he's using his knowledge of dollars and cents to run a crime ring. He's accused of selling more than $700,000 in stolen gift cards in an elaborate scheme. Police believe people would go inside stores, steal items and return the items for gift cards instead of cash. Then sell the gift cards to Engh. Then the cards ended up on Engh's eBay site, police said.
(click through... ^
By Eric Kurhi
SAN JOSE -- Police on Friday identified a man they suspect responded to an online advertisement for a puppy last month, then tried to carjack the sellers before absconding with the little dog.
Milpitas resident Juan Carlos Chavez, 38, is believed to have called the victims in response to an ad on eBay selling a 9-week-old female Pomeranian named Bronxie. The sellers, who are from Los Gatos, arranged to meet the potential buyer on the 700 block of Story Road, near Kelley Park, and when they pulled up around 11:35 p.m. Oct. 8 they were flagged down by a man.
The victims allowed the man to hold the little black dog, at which point he pulled out a handgun and demanded the car.
Fearing for their lives, the victims sped off.
Police did not elaborate on how they came to identify Chavez.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call robbery detectives at 408-277-4166 or the anonymous tip line at 408-947-7867. Tips may also be made at http://svcrimestoppers.org, and information leading to an arrest and conviction may be eligible for a reward.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.
Yet more ebaY fashion/designer name related fraud in the news. You may notice that the Sheriff isn't up to date on ebay's frenetic policy changes for this week, along with the 'in your face' fact/example that changing those policies is going to benefit fraudsters much more than any other desired effect.
Keep up the great work, sleazebay.
Full report with video:
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Counterfeit items are one problem, but people looking to turn a quick buck by stealing is another.In Kentucky, a group of scam artists stole hundreds of high-end apparel bags. In this Rip-Off Alert, the scam continued on eBay, and that move was the beginning of the end.Melissa Maxwell works for the company that distributes the fashionable LeSportsac brand of high-end purses and travel accessories.But it's not all glamorous -- the firm's distribution center was robbed and then caught in the middle of an online scam involving its merchandise.
(^ click through for more )
Store employee charged with selling stolen merchandise on eBay
"...An investigation uncovered that Davenport had stolen over $5,000 worth of items and was selling them on eBay. ..."
(no word whether he was or was not a victim of the purges)
By Kate Mather
October 24, 2013
An Anaheim man pleaded guilty Thursday to producing and selling tens of thousands of fake Kohl's coupons in a months-long scheme that netted him about $93,000, federal officials said.
Boi Quoc Vo, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit documentation under a plea agreement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of as much as $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the ruse, whichever amount is greater.
"It's common to encounter intellectual property cases related to phony products, but this is the first time we've come across a scheme locally involving counterfeit store coupons," Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations division in Los Angeles, said in a statement.
Vo is scheduled to be sentenced March 3, 2014.
In the plea agreement, Vo admitted he obtained electronic coupons the department store gave customers who signed up for its "email marketing service," then used editing software to "remove or change certain security features" intended to prevent duplication or repeated use of the discounts.
The final fake products, the agreement says, "resembled genuine Kohl's Corporation discount coupons and had security features that caused Kohl's Corporation store personnel to believe they were genuine."
Vo then made thousands of copies of the coupons, which he sold on eBay using different user names and accounts to conceal his identity, according to the plea agreement. The coupons were sold to people in several states, including California.
Vo told authorities he kept records of his sales and expenses, and made about $93,000 from the sales of the phony coupons. But officials said they have not been able to determine how much Kohl's lost because it was unclear how many of the counterfeit coupons were accepted or how much money the retailer would have earned from shoppers had they not used the discounts.
ICE's investigation into the scheme began last year after its Virginia-based National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center got a lead "linking Vo to the possible sale of counterfeit coupons," authorities said. Orange County-based agents were then assisted by eBay and Kohl's, they added.
By Kim Zetter
Six Romanians and one Albanian have been indicted on allegations that they operated a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud scheme selling nonexistent cars, boats and other high-value items through eBay and other sites.
Interpol has issued "red notices" seeking assistance apprehending the fugitives, one of whom was arrested in 2010 but managed to give authorities the slip after he walked out of a Romanian courthouse over a bureaucratic issue.
According to the indictment (.pdf), unsealed today in the Eastern District of New York, leader Nicolae Popescu is wanted, along with fellow Romanians Daniel Alexe, Dmitru Daniel Bosogioiu, Ovidiu Cristea, and Dragomir Razvan and an Albanian national named Fabjan Meme. Also listed in the indictment is a defendant who goes by the names "George Skyper" and "Tudor Barbu Lautaru."
According to authorities, the defendants posted advertisements on eBay, Cars.com, AutoTrader.com, and CycleTrader.com for cars, motorcycles, and boats - priced between $10,000 to $45,000 - and sent buyers fraudulent certificates of title and other documentation to convince them that the vehicle transactions were legitimate.
In some cases, they posed as nonexistent auto dealers in the U.S., even going so far as to create phony websites for the dealerships.
Razvan and other co-conspirators used fake passports to open U.S. bank accounts to receive payments from buyers and emailed the buyers transaction notices and invoices, purporting to come from Amazon Payments, PayPal, and other online payment services.
The gang operated since at least 2006. Police have identified approximately 800 victims who sent money for non-existent Rolex watches, cars, yachts, private airplanes and other luxury goods. Buyers from around the world lost approximately $1 million after they sent money for winning auctions, but never received goods.
Popescu, the 32-year-old alleged ringleader, had been previously detained under a so-called preventive arrest. Under Romanian law, defendants can be held for up to 29 days while an investigation is underway if authorities prove to the court that they need to hold the suspect while evidence is examined. But while the court was busy ruling on an extended arrest for the other suspects, Popescu walked out of the courthouse. The deadline for his initial arrest had passed, and because the court had not yet ruled on his extended detention, he was allowed to leave.
The head coach of Lockland High School's varsity football team was arrested this week and charged with selling district-owned sports equipment on eBay.
Tyronne O. Copeland, 44, of Golf Manor was booked into the Hamilton County jail about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on charges of theft in office. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday morning and ordered to stay away from the school.
According to court documents, Copeland sold 25 pairs of football knee pads in September on eBay for $128.50 in cash. He also sold 24 pair of football thigh pads for $125 in cash, documents state.
After receiving information that Copeland was selling items under the Ebay user ID name of Panthercoach12, Lt. Terrence Wilkerson said the Lockland Police Department set up a couple of controlled buys. Wilkerson said that undercover police purchased items from Panthercoach12 on two separate days. The transactions were recorded, he said.
The case goes to a grand jury for possible indictment Nov. 6.
Copeland was placed on unpaid administrative leave following his arrest, Lockland School District superintendent Matt Bishop said.
By William Turvill
PUBLISHED: 07:41 EST, 18 October 2013
A mother-of-two has been jailed for 18 months after she stole 905 handbags over a three-year period.
Jayne Rand, 48, went into department stores across the UK leaving with luxury handbags on her shoulder, a court heard.
Her lawyer admitted she had become 'almost addicted to stealing high-value bags' as she was sentenced to 18 months in prison. ...
Not all ebay motors or car scammers are from Romania. There's plenty right here in the USA.
(10-16) 07:28 PDT SAN FRANCISCO --
A convicted con artist was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on charges that he pulled off a new scam - falsely claiming to have expensive vehicles for sale on eBay, including Hummers and a Ferrari.
Angelo Degenhardt of San Francisco took control of an EBay account held by his wife and created a PayPal account in 2012 that linked a Citibank account to it, according to the indictment, which charged him with 12 counts of wire fraud.
A Georgia resident placed a winning bid of $15,500 for a Hummer H1 wagon with ambulance doors in September 2012, authorities said. The same month, an eBay user from New Jersey placed a winning bid of $22,000 for a Hummer H1 four-door convertible, and a resident of Florida offered $22,100 for a Ferrari Dino GT4, the indictment alleged.
The three "winners" sent payment to an account controlled by Degenhardt, who then transferred the funds to other people, including to his landlord for payment of rent, to his wife and to his children, authorities said.
Degenhardt was convicted in 2005 of bilking millions from investors in Utah.
In 2011, the San Francisco city attorney sued Degenhardt, accusing him of fleecing dozens of Chinese immigrant students of tuition payments for culinary training and paid externships. The case was later dismissed.