eBay announced that today, January 16th all listings for auction style and filed price listings will be 20 cents
Jenny Donahue, who operated on eBay in 2004 under several eBay user names, plead guilty to selling over $100,000 worth of fake designer handbags. At her sentencing hearing before Federal Judge Garvan Murtha this week, the federal prosecutor introduced evidence of more than 250 fraud victims, out of a total of 632 eBay auctions, with over $100,000 in loss, and urged the court to impose a sentence of 41 months imprisonment.
Judge Murtha said that the advisory sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 27 to 33 months. He then found that because Donahue had minor children, an "extraordinary circumstance" warranted Donahue not be jailed.
This loony judge then went on to reduce the sentence to no imprisonment, imposing instead five years of probation and 100 hours of community service and restitution. Don’t get me wrong –I do feel for the kids, but there are hundreds of thousands of parents with kids in jail. This sort of sentence is appropriate for minor crimes where there is no violence and the amounts of money are small. But this was fraud on a massive scale. Unless the courts start sentencing internet criminals to long sentences there will be no deterrent to these scam artists and they will continue to target eBay buyers.
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