Amazon Buyer Admits $290K Returns Rip-off, Faces 20 Years in Jail

  • An Amazon shopper pleaded responsible to greater than $290,000 in fraud for mailing pretend returns.
  • Prosecutors stated Hudson Hamrick, of North Carolina, purchased costly gadgets then returned low-cost ones.
  • Amazon seen the fraudulent returns, which started in 2016, and referred the case to the FBI.

An Amazon shopper who for 5 years purchased costly gadgets — together with a top-of-the-line iMac Pro — after which mailed cheaper gadgets as returns faces as much as 20 years in jail for wire fraud, prosecutors stated.

Hudson Hamrick, of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday pleaded responsible within the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, a court docket submitting confirmed.  

The Department of Justice additionally issued a press release on Tuesday that stated Hamrick faces a most sentence of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 wonderful. 

Hamrick’s public defender didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.

US attorneys filed costs towards Hamrick in September, saying he’d engaged in about 300 fraudulent transactions with Amazon. That included about 270 product returns — some 250 of which had been “materially different in value” — that amounted to greater than $290,000 in complete fraud, stated the charging doc and one other that detailed a number of transactions as a part of Hamrick’s plea settlement. 

Many of the transactions adopted a easy sample, prosecutors stated: Hamrick would order an costly merchandise, provoke a return, then mail an identical — however much less useful — merchandise. Sometimes he’d additionally promote the costly merchandise, netting him each the return and the resale worth, prosecutors stated. 

In August 2019, for instance, Hamrick ordered an Apple iMac Pro for $4,256.85, the US attorneys stated. After about two weeks, Hamrick began the return course of with Amazon, which then issued a refund. 

“Instead of returning the high-end iMac Pro, Hamrick returned a much older, less valuable non-Pro model with a completely different serial number,” stated a court docket doc filed by Maria Ok. Vento, an assistant US legal professional. 

Per week earlier than Hamrick initiated his Amazon return, he bought an iMac Pro on eBay, Vento stated. 

Prosecutors stated the gadgets Hamrick ordered included a Jura GIGA W3 Professional espresso machine for $3,536.46; an Asus ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop computer for $2,776.52; and a Fuji Spray system for $1,227.31. Each time, he returned a lower-value merchandise or older mannequin, prosecutors stated. 

An Amazon spokesperson instructed Insider that the tech large found the alleged fraud and referred the case to legislation enforcement. It labored with the FBI and the US legal professional’s workplace in North Carolina.

“Amazon has systems in place to detect suspicious behavior, and teams in place to investigate and stop prohibited activity,” the spokesperson stated. “There is no place for fraud at Amazon, and we will continue to pursue all measures to hold bad actors accountable.”

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