An Amazon buyer cheated $290,000 by returning lower value products

An Amazon buyer is faced with up to 20 years in prison and fine to buy expensive items from Amazon and then return cheaper items by mail.

Hudson Hamrick, a US citizen, pleaded guilty in US District Court and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

US prosecutors filed suit against Hamrick in September, saying he had participated in about 300 fraudulent transactions with Amazon.

This included a 270 product returns – about 250 of which were “materially different in value” – totaling over $290,000 in total fraud.

Hamrick would buy an expensive item, initiate a return, and ship a similar item of lesser value. Sometimes, he also sold the expensive item, getting both the return and the resale value, according to the promoters.

In August 2019, for example, Hamrick ordered an Apple iMac Pro for $4,257 and, after two weeks, started the return process with Amazon, who then issued a refund.

“Instead of returning the high-end iMac Pro, Hamrick returned a much older and less valuable non-Pro model with a completely different serial number.”says a court document filed by Maria K. Vento, Assistant US Attorney. A week before Hamrick started his comeback on Amazon, he sold an iMac Pro on eBay.

Items Hamrick ordered included a Jura GIGA W3 Professional coffee machine for $3,536.46; an Asus ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop for $2,776.52; and a Fuji Spray system for $1,227.31. On all occasions, he returned an item of lesser value or an older model, prosecutors said.

“Amazon has systems to detect suspicious behavior and teams to investigate and stop prohibited activities«Said a spokesman for Amazon. “There is no room for fraud at Amazon and we will continue to apply all measures to hold criminals accountable.”

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