A man allowed scammers to use his eBay account to sell cars which never materialised – and then tried to help them conceal their ill-gotten gains.
Daniel Dawson, 26, also let the fraudsters use his email address to communicate with unsuspecting buyers on the online auction site, Sunderland magistrates heard.
He admitted he had money paid into his bank account, and that he was advised, then, to transfer it into another bank account. He said he transferred £6,000 in this wayKatherine Hannah, prosecuting
He was charged in relation to two victims, who each paid £300 deposits toward fictitious vehicles, but he told fraud investigators that he used his bank account to transfer £6,000.
“The first victim in this matter, saw a motor vehicle advertised on eBay in April 2014, with the price displayed along with it,” prosecutor Katherine Hannah told magistrates in Sunderland.
“The seller was contacted via text message and a price was negotiated.
“A £300 deposit was to be paid by bank transfer and it was arranged for the vehicle to be delivered to Milton Keynes.”
Miss Hannah said the buyer transferred the money but was then unable to contact the seller again and the car was never received.
“The second victim contacted the same seller about a motor vehicle advertised,”
Miss Hannah said. “They communicated via text and over the phone. The victim then transferred £300 to an email address via Paypal, which was the agreed deposit for the vehicle. The balance was to be paid on delivery.
“The vehicle was never delivered and there was no further contact between the parties.”
The incidents were reported to national cyber crime agency Action Fraud, which launched an investigation.
“The bank account used to transfer funds into was identified as belonging to a man other than this defendant, who has already been dealt with in relation to this matter,” Miss Hannah said.
Dawson was arrested after his bank account was found to have been involved in the transactions.
“The defendant was interviewed and said he provided his eBay details to people but wouldn’t name the person involved. He knew it was to sell cars and he received email messages about motor vehicles he didn’t know anything about.
“He admitted he had money paid into his bank account and that he was advised to transfer it into another account. He said he transferred £6,000 in this way. His bank account has been used for these transactions in relation to the cars that never arrived with the buyers – £600 is still outstanding.
Dawson, of Watling Avenue, Seaham, had previously denied a charge of attempting to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property, on April 29 last year, but he later changed his plea to guilty.
Mike Simpson, defending, said Dawson was not the ‘prime mover’ in the scam. He said what happened was without Dawson’s knowledge and that he had not made a penny from it.
Mr Simpson said. “Exploitation, that’s what’s happened to him. He’s been taken for a ride, essentially.
Dawson was sentenced to a 12-month community order and was told to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £150 costs.