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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty For Ebay Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
  
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joshua B. Abernathy, 30, of Pulaski, Tennessee, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that Abernathy advertised electrical devices for sale on eBay to convince prospective purchasers to wire transfer funds to bank accounts he controlled. The prospective buyers thought they purchased “vibration analyzers” which are designed to detect defects in manufacturing equipment but the defendant had no such devices to sell.  Two victims, one of whom lived in Erie County, lost a total of more than $48,000 as a result of the scheme.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen.
 
Sentencing is scheduled on April 20, 2016, before Judge Arcara.

Updated January 13, 2016