An eBay fraudster who sold fake and defective goods to thousands of online shoppers has been ordered to hand over scam proceeds of £102,000.
Jonathan Hartley is currently serving an 18 month prison sentence for fraud and deception, and is now being forced to hand over money he made carrying out eBay scams over a six year period.
Find out how to shop safely on eBay using our and eBay consumer rights guides.
Hartley must pay the money by 31 July 2009 or face a further 12 months in jail and still owe the money on his release with accrued interest.
He was arrested in September 2007 after a nine-month police investigation and later admitted five counts of obtaining services by deception totaling £39,000, five counts of fraud totaling £15,000 and one count of money laundering totaling £113,500
Our guide to spotting a scam can help you avoid falling victim to similar scams. The Which? guide to selling safely on eBay can also help you stay safe whilst using the online auction site to sell unwanted goods.
eBay fraud warning
Financial investigator DC Adrian Crorken, said: ‘This case should send out a clear warning to other people involved in similar scams that not only will you be brought to justice, we will also strip you of the money you acquired.
‘The robust use we are making of the proceeds of crime act is having a real impact. In most cases the main motivation of people like Hartley is financial gain and therefore this is an area in which we can hit them hardest.’
Richard Ambrose, head of trust and safety for eBay in the UK, said: ‘We would strongly recommend that buyers on eBay pay for their item with PayPal, which is offered as a payment option on every listing, because this means that you are covered for the full amount of your purchase on the rare occasion that anything does go wrong.’
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