An Australian teenager has been sentenced two three years in prison after having plead guilty to over 100 charges of online fraud perpetrated on eBay.
The fraudster effected the fraud in 2009, while he was still at a South Brisbane college. The journals he kept during the period and in which he documented his day-to-day fraudulent activities proved to be of great help to the police investigation after he had been arrested.
The police actually didn’t know anything about the youth and his criminal activity until they were summoned by an employee of a Brisbane Suncorp bank branch. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the bank teller called the police because they found the person’s attempt to withdraw $5000 of some $2 million erroneously deposited in one of his bogus accounts rather suspicious.
A subsequent investigation into the matter revealed that that account was one of 119 bank accounts he set up by using false names – the same names he used to open bogus PayPal and eBay accounts. Through these eBay accounts, he “sold” a number of electronic goods but never delivered them to the buyers. By doing this, he managed to accumulate some $40,000.
The interesting thing is that the fraudster hasn’t actually started selling on eBay with the intent to defraud anyone – or at least that is what his defense attorney claimed. He started out as a legitimate seller, but as he managed to rack up considerable debts, he turned to fraud to compensate for the loss.
Among the mitigating circumstances that were taken in consideration during sentencing was also the fact that he was suffering from depression during the period in which the fraud unfolded and that he was self-medicating with drugs bought online. The attorney claimed he “didn’t appreciate the level of criminality he was engaged in.”