It has been revealed in the USA that three individuals will be imprisoned for fraud using the Amazon Returns system. Three people will go to jail for a total of 6 years. It’s thought to be the first conviction of its kind.
Erin and Leah Finan, 38, a husband and wife team from the Muncie-Anderson in Indiana, were sent down on federal mail fraud and money laundering charges, with a term of 71 months and 68 months in prison, respectively. Both pleaded guilty to these charges.
Danijel Glumac, 29, of Indianapolis, Indiana pleaded guilty to money laundering and to fencing the items the Finans stole – that is, buying and selling stolen property across state lines – and was sentenced to 24 months in prison
Consumer fraud not only unjustly enriches the perpetrator, it causes all of us to pay higher retail prices. 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.
– United States Attorney Josh Minkler
Amazon has already said it will be cracking down on repeat returns itself. If you make too many returns and they get suspicious then you’ll have your buying rights suspended. However, if your activities are more egregious, then the law takes a dim view too.
We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time. We never take these decisions lightly, but with over 300 million customers around the world, we take action when appropriate to protect the experience for all our customers.
– Amazon spokesperson
From a merchant perspective, it’s easy to be supportive of this policy and approach because you’ll be no stranger to problem buyers. And Amazon has visibility of the whole constituency of shoppers so is well placed to make accurate judgments. Are you in favour of Amazon’s actions?