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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Three Men Plead Guilty To Defrauding Amazon

         Defendants Sold Textbooks They Rented Through Amazon’s Textbook Rental Program

          GRAND RAPIDS – U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Birge announced today that Paul Larson of Kalamazoo, and Gregory Gleesing of Portage, pled guilty to mail fraud in United States District Court in Lansing, Michigan.  Lovedeep Singh Dhanoa, also of Portage, previously pled guilty to mail fraud related to the same fraudulent scheme.

          According to court documents, Paul Larson, age 32, Gregory Gleesing, age 43, and Lovedeep Singh Dhanoa, age 25, allegedly participated with Geoffrey Mark Talsma, age 36, also of Kalamazoo, in a scheme to defraud Amazon’s textbook rental program. Larson, Gleesing and Dhanoa admitted through their guilty pleas that from approximately September 2016 to October 2019, one or more of them assisted Talsma in renting textbooks from Amazon through the internet.  According to the plea agreements, Talsma taught them how to create numerous Amazon accounts using fake names, multiple street addresses, and multiple email accounts to circumvent Amazon’s limit of 15 textbook rentals per customer. They admitted assisting Talsma in obtaining the textbooks at a rental price that was a fraction of their true value and selling the textbooks at a profit through area bookstores and over the internet, all without ever paying the agreed upon buyout price for the books at the end of the rental period.

          Larson is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday, June 21, 2022; Gleesing on Wednesday, June 1, 2022; and Dhanoa on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.  All three face a maximum of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. They will also be ordered to pay restitution to Amazon.

          The charges against Talsma are scheduled for trial beginning on April 5, 2022, in United States District Court in Lansing, Michigan. The charges against him are mere allegations and he remains innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.

          The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case.  Amazon referred the matter to law enforcement and has supported the investigation.

          Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Stella is prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated January 27, 2022