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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 5, 2018

Boca Raton Man Charged with Wire and Mail Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Joseph Sides, 24, of Boca Raton, Florida, was arraigned yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging him with mail fraud conspiracy, 8 counts of wire fraud, and 4 counts of mail fraud.  The indictment was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The indictment alleges that, between March 2016 and June 2018, Sides created approximately 501 Amazon accounts using false names, multiple e-mail addresses, and altered shipping addresses to place approximately 1227 orders.  Sides allegedly obtained $229,391.42 in merchandise, replacements, and refunds by falsely claiming the merchandise had not been delivered or was damaged.  According to the indictment, Sides sold the Amazon merchandise using online retail services, such as eBay, Craigslist, and Gameflip.

The maximum penalty for each of the mail fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, and mail fraud charges is 20 years in prison.  The trial is scheduled for November 13, 2018, at 8:15 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee.  Sides was released pending trial.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from Amazon.com.  Assistant United States Attorney Gary Milligan is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
For more information, contact: Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer amy.alexander@usdoj.gov
Updated October 5, 2018