Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that an information was filed today charging Terrance J. Holmes, age 39, of 330 Yorktown Place, Vermilion, Ohio, with one count of Wire Fraud.
The Information charges that between January 2001 and February 2002, Holmes having devised and attempted to devise a separate scheme and artifice to obtain money, funds and other property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises knowingly transmitted and caused to be transmitted by means of interstate wire or other electronic communication, certain Internet advertisements and Internet e-mail communications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1343.
The Information charges that between January 2001 and February 2002, Holmes owned and operated GPS Computer Services in Vermilion, Ohio, and offered various brands of laptop and notebook computers for sale to the public by means of an Internet website maintained by GPS Computer Services and via E-Bay, an Internet on-line auction website. The Information charges that Holmes and GPS Computer Services advertised the computers at deeply discounted prices of $400 to $700, when the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the computers ranged from $1,100 to $1,600 each.
The Information further charges that Holmes and GPS Computer Services accepted orders for laptop and notebook computers totaling approximately $964,559.86 from at least 1,187 customers via the Internet, by telephone, by mail and in person at the retail location in Vermilion, Ohio, but failed to deliver or supply the computers as promised. The Information further charges that Holmes instructed GPS Computer Services employees to give various excuses to customers to stall any remedial actions the customers might have taken against GPS Computer Services.
The Information charges that as a result of the scheme and artifice, Holmes fraudulently obtained and received approximately $964,559.86.
If convicted, the defendant's sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant's prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern of the Cleveland U.S. Attorney’s Office, following an investigation by the Elyria Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.