8 EBay Sellers Admit to Phony Bids
1 hour, 32 minutes ago Business - AP
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. - Eight eBay sellers were ordered to pay nearly $90,000 in
restitution and fines after admitting they bid up products online to inflate
Quote Data provided by Reuters
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said more than 120 people will
receive restitution in the settlement of the three cases, which wrapped up
last week in state courts.
Spokesman Darren Dopp said the cases stemmed from specific complaints, but
the office has not conducted a broad investigation of the online auction
industry and doesn't know how widespread the practice of phony bidding is.
One buyer, Brad Clarke, 48, of Peachtree City, Ga., already has received a
check for $3,089 after overpaying for a 1999 Jeep Cherokee sport utility
vehicle he bought on eBay from a New York seller in 2002.
"I'd always been suspicious because it seems like an easy thing to do, to
just keep bidding up," Clarke said. "But I was still just completely shocked
and very surprised."
Three sellers were accused of making 610 bids on 106 of their car auctions
under the user name "Mother's Custom Automotive NY Dealer." They are paying
more than $28,000 in penalties and restitution, Spitzer said. Their lawyers
declined to comment.
In another case, the operator of an art auction house and two former
employees were accused of bidding on more than 1,100 of each others' eBay
items for more than five years to drive up the prices. Some paintings sold
for thousands more than they were worth.
Spitzer said one of the sellers pleaded guilty to a felony charge, the other
two to misdemeanors. They were ordered to pay more than $50,000 in
restitution and fines.
The other two defendants were accused of making 170 phony bids on their
sports memorabilia items. They agreed to pay $10,000 in penalties and
Today 50 families will find out their child has autism.
1 in 150 children have an autism spectrum disorder.