COVINGTON, KY - Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Perrye Turner, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, jointly announced today that a Covington man will be sentenced in March of next year for defrauding two internet companies out of thousands of dollars.
Melvin Dietz, Jr., 39, will be sentenced on March 14, 2014 for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Dietz faces a mandatory two year sentence on the aggravated identity theft count and maximum of 20 years on the wire fraud offense.
Dietz pleaded guilty on November 19 and admitted that on or about January 2011 through December 2011, he devised a scheme to defraud two online internet companies, WeBuyUsedCisco.com and Teksavers.com, both of which purchase used Cisco computers and equipment.
Dietz executed his scheme by using PayPal, which is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. During this time, Dietz set up approximately fourteen PayPal accounts using alias identities. Shortly before or after he created an account, he contacted one of these companies and fraudulently offered to sell them certain Cisco items by misrepresenting that he possessed them.
Through email, he used an alias identity and negotiated a price with a representative of the company for the Cisco equipment. At Dietz’s direction, the company transferred payment to one of the PayPal accounts that Dietz had set up using the same or a different alias identity. Thereafter, Dietz cut off communication and never sent the equipment.
Dietz acknowledged he used or attempted to use the money in his PayPal accounts to purchase items on line from various online retail businesses or remove the money from his alias PayPal accounts in other ways. The money transferred by WeBuyUsedCisco.com to Dietz’s PayPal accounts as a result of his fraud totaled approximately $21,846.25. The amount of money transferred by Teksavers.com to Dietz’s PayPal accounts as a result of his fraud totaled approximately $50,240.
In committing this crime, Dietz knowingly used, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person, during and in relation to the wire fraud count, in that he used that individual’s social security number to obtain a prepaid Visa card. Dietz used the card to authenticate the account with PayPal for the purpose of furthering his scheme to defraud Teksavers.com.
eBay Incorporated initiated the investigation with law enforcement and fully cooperated with the FBI and the Covington, KY., Police department who prepared the case for prosecution.