Couple Grifts Amazon Out of £904K in Electronics

Couple Grifts Amazon Out of £904K in Electronics”

If they were making their money reselling Xboxes and GoPros - which average around $500 for the more expensive packages - that's well over 200 items fraudulently taken from Amazon's refund system.

A couple in Muncie, Indiana chose to take the scheme too far, allegedly stealing $1.2 million worth of electronics, according to a Department of Justice press release.

The US Department of Justice announced today that husband and wife Erin Joseph Finan, 38, and Leah Jeanette Finan, 37, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. Amazon's customer service representatives responded to the complaints by sending the couple free replacements at no charge.

While Amazon monitors their customers' accounts and orders for possible fraudulent activity, US Attorney Josh Minkler said the couple "went to great lengths" to pull off the scheme by "creating hundreds of false online identities".

By claiming the electronics they ordered had shown up damaged, the couple scored GoPro cameras, Xbox game consoles, Samsung smartwatches, and Microsoft Surface tablets by creating hundreds of fake online identities to hide their crimes.

Glumac, who was also charged, allegedly paid the Finans about $725,000. The Finans would sell the electronics below market price to Glumac, who would then mark them up for resale to the public through an unnamed NY entity.

For a company worth over £370 billion, the Finans' scheme was chump change, but the case sends a wider message meant to discourage the use of this trivially easy exploit. They must also pay Amazon $1,218,504 in restitution and, under the terms of a plea agreement, waive their right to appeal if sentenced to fewer than seven years and three months in prison. "Buying and selling black market items across state lines is against federal law and those who choose to ignore that will be held accountable".

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