Amazon $1.2m gadget scam couple jailed


A couple who exploited Amazon’s lax return policies to steal $1.2m in luxury goods and electronics have been sentenced to nearly six years in jail.

You might recall the story of Erin and Leah Finan which we told last year. They used fake IDs to create Amazon accounts, which were then used to order electronic goods.

Amazon sometimes sends replacements without arranging collection of the faulty product, if it doesn’t seem economical to return.

In these instances, the Finans requested a replacement and then fenced it on to a Danikel Glumac, who was, himself given a two-year sentence.

The couple had been due to be sentenced last November, but after it emerged that a second e-tailer had also made allegations, the case was held for six months.

Amazon was defrauded by the couple for up to 2,700 items including Apple Macbooks, Microsoft Xbox consoles and Samsung smartwatches.

There’s no suggestion of the couple defrauding Amazon own-branded products. Make of that what you will.

Josh Minkler, US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said in a statement: “To 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.”

He points out that losses through fraud and theft lead to higher retail prices for everyone, making us all victims.

After admitting to postal fraud and money laundering, the couple has been left to bide their time before the sentences were handed down. Erin 71 months and his partner 68 months.

The fact that Amazon’s policies allowed this to happen does raise eyebrows, suggesting that there are, in its eyes, “acceptable losses”. However, when the figure gets up over a million dollars, there’s clearly a limit.

It is not known if anything will come of the separate case against the second retailer, but if any action follows the couple will be defending it from in prison.


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Grace Guo

Grace has been working for Nokia Beijing office for 5 years, so she has profound knowledge of phone hardware. Her job at Driversdown is smartphone hardware test and writing review articles of new released phones. In order to get more practical data, she might have a new smartphone very week or month. Contact Grace via