SEATTLE MAN SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON FOR MAIL AND WIRE FRAUD SCHEME
Owner of Internet Medical Supply Company Used Customer’s Credit Cards for Own Purchases
MICAH BUITRON, 40, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years in prison, five years of supervised release and $248,073 in restitution for Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud. BUITRON owned two internet businesses from which he sold medical supplies. When he pleaded guilty on August 5, 2009, BUITRON admitted he used the credit card numbers and identifying information supplied by customers of his businesses, to fraudulently rack up some $250,000 in credit card charges. BUITRON had the goods he purchased delivered to one of four different homes he owned in the Seattle area. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones ordered him into custody and told him, “this was a sophisticated plan and structured scheme to steal from others.... The impact on the victims was devastating.... The primary motivation was greed, just plain old fashioned greed.”
According to records filed in the case, between December 2006 and April 2009, BUITRON fraudulently used the credit card and personal information of more than 60 people and defrauded some 68 businesses. For example, BUITRON used the credit card information from one of his customers to purchase more than $2,000 in faucets from an on line retailer. BUITRON used some 20 aliases in the scheme and purchase everything from remodeling supplies to expensive home furnishings. BUITRON used some of the materials to remodel the four properties he owned, and some of the items he resold through his businesses or on other web sites. In all the fraud or attempted fraud totaled $350,000. When agents searched BUITRON's residences on April 22, 2009, agents recovered furniture, home fixtures, medical devices, and other items which had been purchased fraudulently. BUITRON also double and triple billed some of his customers for items they purchased from his web site, filed false damage claims with shippers and false claims with his own credit card company.
In asking for a prison term, Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs noted that many small businesses were harmed by the scheme – one wrote to the court that they had to lay off one employee because of the losses. In addition multiple victims had to untangle the mess BUITRON had made of their credit. “The defendant’s fraudulent scheme was deeply embedded in his lifestyle,” Mr. Diggs wrote to the court. “When interviewed, the defendant had difficulty recalling items he had fraudulently purchased. From the multiple aliases used by the defendant, to his four houses outfitted with luxury items, purchased with other people’s credit cards, the defendant’s schemes were his life. This is a defendant who, when faced with declining economic circumstances, completely lost sight of right and wrong.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Seattle Police Department..
The was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.