News and Press Releases

BELLINGHAM MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR MAIL FRAUD IN E-BAY AUCTION SCAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2005

BRETT YOUNG, 25, of Bellingham, Washington was sentenced to 30 days in prison, three years of supervised release and $27,775 in restitution today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for Mail Fraud in connection with a scheme using the internet auction site E-bay to defraud nine people across the country. YOUNG admitted he advertised high quality car and truck engines for sale on the auction site, but instead delivered engines that were, in most cases, worthless junk. In sentencing YOUNG, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas S. Zilly told him he hoped the prison time would be "a wake-up call."

Court documents show that from March 2003 until April 2004, YOUNG advertised various engines on E-bay such as a Chevy 454 big block engine, a 350 Mercury Cruiser engine with upgrades and a 1968 427 Corvette high performance "best of everything" racing engine. At least nine different victims from across the country responded to the postings, sending YOUNG more than $27,000 for the engines he offered for sale. YOUNG would then ship the engines to the purchaser. But instead of receiving the high quality engines advertised, purchasers often received "old greasy" junk engines with cracked blocks or broken rods. In most cases, YOUNG never paid his victims back. The scheme came to light when complaints started coming to the Federal Bureau of Investigation/Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), the government agency which handles reports of internet fraud.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Reagan Dunn and Andrew Friedman.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer, United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.

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