A grand jury on Thursday indicted a New Jersey man for allegedly making nearly $150,000 worth of bogus purchases on eBay.
David D’Aries, 50, of Summit, is accused of from June 2007 through October 2012 posing on the online auction site as three different people – one of them his deceased father. D’Aries during at least 400 transactions allegedly pretended to be interested in purchasing rare and antique foreign banknotes from sellers around the world.
According to the indictment, D’Aries would pay for his purchases using credit cards, PayPal or wire transfers. The banknotes were then shipped to D’Aries’ home or to a post office box in Chatham that D’Aries maintained in his father's name, court document state.
But once the shipments came, D'Aries would allegedly falsely report to his credit card companies the items were never received or constituted unauthorized charges. The credit card companies would then issue D’Aries refunds, leaving the banknote sellers in the lurch with neither their merchandise nor payment. In some instances, eBay, PayPal or the credit card companies absorbed the losses.
The banknote sellers filed fraud claims with eBay, the credit card companies and the U.S. Postal Service. D’Aries swindled about $148,356.29 from the various entities, the indictment states.
In other transactions totaling $10,372.37, D’Aries allegedly tried unsuccessfully to defraud eBay sellers but was refused refunds from his credit card companies.
D’Aries was in June charged by complaint with one count of mail fraud and surrendered himself to law enforcement. A search of his home allegedly turned up several thousand foreign banknotes and 165 pieces of mail from around the world addressed to D’Aries and his aliases. Investigators said the packages found included shipments D’Aries claimed he’d never received.
If D’Aries is convicted of the offense, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. government has announced it will seek forfeiture of all property derived from the alleged scheme’s proceeds.