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Hello! and welcome to the Global Law Enforcement Organization Police Blotter. Most Community members have not heard much about what eBay does behind the scenes to pursue, apprehend and prosecute fraudsters on ebay.com and paypal.com. The purpose of the Police Blotter is to share information with the Community about our efforts with law enforcement around the world.
As you know, eBay Inc. is committed to creating a safe, well lit marketplace. When people break our policies, violate consumer trust and the law of the land, eBay and PayPal work with law enforcement agencies around the world to apprehend and prosecute fraudsters. For that reason, eBay created the Global Law Enforcement Organization. The cases below do not reflect all of our success stories. The cases have been chosen to provide you with examples of various cases where we have assisted law enforcement in convicting a fraudster.
We set up the PROACT team in 2007 to collaborate with both retailers and law enforcement agencies to identify and remove sellers of stolen goods from eBay and support criminal prosecutions against those sellers. The PROACT team has enlisted over 300 retailers to join the PROACT program and provide the team with leads on potentially harmful sellers.
Local and federal law enforcement agencies in Scottsdale, AZ recently announced the indictment of 36 people who are alleged to have been part of an organized retail fraud scheme that the eBay PROACT team detected and referred out to law enforcement. The team worked with Home Depot and several law enforcement agencies over many months to build an investigation called "Operation Orange Crush" which found that approximately $1.25 million in fraudulently-obtained Home Depot gift cards were sold online by Wayne Bahlman with help from his cadre of co-conspirators. The law enforcement agencies publicly commended eBay's role in initially detecting the fraud scheme and providing ample support for the investigation.
The FBI in Chicago contacted eBay back in 2006 about an Illinois-based seller who was alleged to have been selling a high volume of stolen goods on eBay, Amazon, and his own site. We provided records during the course of the investigation detailing the $2.2 million worth of goods that the defendant, Ahmet Keskes, sold on eBay over 3.5 years. The case recently went to trial in federal court in Chicago and our team testified about the defendant's conduct on eBay along with representatives from Limited Brands, Hobby Lobby, and Dick's Sporting Goods. The jury found him guilty.
The Sacramento office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacted us several years ago about a couple, Darin and Jennifer French, who appeared to be selling high value appliances on eBay and not delivering the goods. Our research showed that the sellers were delivering goods to buyers who completed the transaction on eBay, but they were luring many buyers off of eBay, collecting payment from them and failing to deliver. Both defendants were recently convicted of several felonies, including mail and wire fraud. Total sales volume on and off eBay was $1.5 million.
The PROACT team will continue fighting the good fight to protect eBay and our community of buyers and sellers.