Couple Serving 5 Years for $1.2 Million in Friendly Fraud
An Indiana couple made over 2,700 purchases from Amazon over the period of a few years, creating new accounts and morphing their identities to continually report goods as damaged or never having arrived. The professional fraudsters stole more than $1.2 million in electronics, but now each face more than five years behind bars.
Erin and Leah Finan purchased laptops, video game systems, cameras and other electronics from Amazon before reporting the goods damaged. From 2014 to 2016 the couple created hundreds of fake accounts to make thousands of purchases, getting new items sent at no charge. They then resold these electronics to an associate, sentenced to two years, who brought them to the black market.
The three fraud ring members were additionally ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution. The Finan’s made about $750,000 from scamming Amazon for just over two years, while their associate who resold the goods made about $500,000.
US Attorney Josh Minkler said “those who seek to exploit the convenience of online shopping through fraud, remember this case. You will be caught. You will be prosecuted. And you will go to federal prison for a long time.” The vast majority of online fraud cases go unreported and uninvestigated. This case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, the IRS and Indiana State Police.
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