Husband and Wife Sentenced For Fraud Scheme Which Targeted Internet Furniture Shoppers
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Savannah, GA – Max Robert Godfrey, Jr., 52, and his wife Kelly Williams Godfrey, 52, of Raleigh, North Carolina were sentenced this month by United States District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr. to 24 months and 18 months in prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea and in sentencing proceedings, the Godfreys operated a business advertised as “Furniture Best Buys” on the internet. Customers who hit upon the website were offered discounts if they paid for furniture in advance by check. The Godfreys directed the customers to mail the check to Furniture Best Buys at an address in Pooler, Georgia, which was actually a UPS Store mailbox. Over fifty customers never received their furniture or a refund. Instead, the Godfreys either lied to or ignored customers when they complained, while using customer money for personal expenses. In addition to the prison sentences, the Court ordered the Godfreys to pay $62,240.22 in restitution. Before coming to Georgia, the Godfreys operated businesses in the Raleigh, North Carolina area named NC Home Furniture and Grand Furniture Gallery, which both left numerous customers without their furniture or a refund. In 2012, Max Godfrey was enjoined by a North Carolina court from operating a furniture business that took advance deposits from customers, yet he and his wife continued to do so using the Pooler, Georgia address.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office will not tolerate scam artists who use online businesses to steal from customers. These defendants made the mistake of bringing their fraud scheme into the Southern District of Georgia, and will now bear the consequences in a federal prison.”
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the North Carolina Department of Justice. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles W. Mulaney and Frederick W. Kramer III prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. Please direct any additional questions to First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.
Updated February 2, 2016