City man sentenced to prison for stealing in eBay scheme

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A Baltimore man who prosecutors say used an eBay scheme to steal thousands of dollars was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 27 months in prison.

For almost three years, prosecutors said, Jacob Theodore George IV, 23, posted computers and other products for bid on the Internet auction site. He used pictures and wrote descriptions of the items that were supposedly for sale.

But George had no intention of sending the goods to winning bidders, prosecutors said.

Using the e-mail address bestbuyguymd@aol.com, George cheated at least 20 people, who transferred to him more than $16,000 and got nothing in return, prosecutors said.

George pleaded guilty to wire fraud in September.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake ordered George to pay $16,216 in restitution. He will also serve three years of supervised release.

Whole sections of the eBay Web site are devoted to preventing fraud. The company has a "user review" system, which helps users identify bad buyers or sellers.

The Web site also lists phone numbers and actions users should take if they believe they are victims of fraud.

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