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Man sentenced to 2 years and eight months in prison after online shopping fraud

Yesterday (30 March 2017) a man was sentenced at the Old Bailey to two years and eight months in jail for five counts of fraud by false representation following an online shopping fraud that he committed between May 2011 and December 2014. 

James Symons aged 32 from Wiltshire, set-up a sellers account on an online selling platform in early 2014, which at first he used legitimately, fulfilling orders and building positive feedback and an excellent seller rating.  He then began to list goods of a higher value such as HD televisions but then failed to distribute the goods to buyers, instead disbursing funds from the online holding account that the buyers had paid into to his own bank accounts. Buyers who did not receive their goods complained to the online seller who then had to reimburse them the money, causing them to lose a total of £1,111,916. 

In December 2014 it became apparent that Symons was committing fraud and his online selling account was blocked and the company referred the case to  the City of London Police.  On 19 February 2015 Symons attended Chippenham Police Station where he gave a voluntary interview; he confirmed that he owned the online selling account and that he had accepted customer orders and had not fulfilled them, he was then charged with five counts of fraud by false representation.,

 Detective Constable, Melanie Johnson who led the investigation said:

“Symons clearly knew what he was doing when he started to defraud the online selling platform and he worked to ensure that his criminal activity fell below the radar for some time.

“He lulled both the company and those directly buying from him into a false sense of security and he let his greed get the better of him.

“Today’s sentencing shows that fraud doesn’t pay and that ultimately law enforcement will work with businesses to ensure that fraudsters are stopped in their tracks”.

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