Dummerston Woman Sentenced to Three Years of Probation for Ebay Fraud Scheme
Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, stated that on January 23, 2013, Andrea Carrasquillo, 33, was sentenced to serve three years of probation after she pled guilty to committing wire fraud. As part of her sentence, U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions III, sitting in Burlington, ordered Carrasquillo to serve four months of home confinement followed by four months during which she will be subject to a curfew. Judge Sessions also ordered Carrasquillo to pay her victims $19,566.51 in restitution.
According to court records, from approximately August of 1999 until she was laid off in March of 2010, Carrasquillo was an employee of Sajen Jewelry. She was then rehired by Sajen in November of 2010. During this time frame, Sajen was a business incorporated in the State of Vermont which sold jewelry to customers throughout the United States and abroad via the Internet and television. From approximately November of 2010 until law enforcement intervened in March of 2011, Carrasquillo used an account on the Internet auction site, eBay, to sell pieces of jewelry that belonged to Sajen Jewelry at a discount price. These pieces were often advertised as being "new with tags." Some of Sajen Jewelry's online customers ultimately alerted the business to the scheme. In all, from between November 2010 and March 2011, Carrasquillo sold 337 pieces of Sajen jewelry over eBay at a profit to herself of $17,198.40.
On March 24, 2011, officers from the Windham County Sheriff's Department executed a search warrant at the home Carrasquillo shared with her husband in Dummerston. There they found over 900 pieces of Sajen jewelry and evidence of an active eBay business.
Carrasquillo faced up to 20 years in prison. Judge Sessions determined that the appropriate range under the advisory sentencing guidelines was 8-14 months in prison. Within this range, the advisory sentencing guidelines also permit a probationary sentence like the one Judge Sessions ultimately imposed in this case. In sentencing Carrasquillo, Judge Sessions considered her lack of criminal history, her acceptance of responsibility, and her family commitments. He also noted the seriousness of the offense, particularly Carrasquillo's violation of her employers' trust.
United States Attorney Coffin commended the efforts of the United States Secret Service and the Windham County Sheriff's Department for their hard work in this case. The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Timothy C. Doherty, Jr. The defendant is represented by James Valente from the Brattleboro law firm of Costello Valente & Gentry.