back to article Fella accused of ripping off Cisco, Amazon, iRobot, others to the tune of $2m by fraudulently demanding replacements for tech gear

A US bloke was charged with fraud and tax evasion on Tuesday after allegedly duping tech companies into replacing kit he never owned. Prosecutors in Pennsylvania accused Reece A. Line, 23, of Pearland, Texas, of participating in a scheme alongside others to defraud Amazon, APC by Schneider Electric, Cisco, the Neat Company, …

  1. David 132 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What a bunch of leeches.

    This is why we can't have nice things. A company does customer service that even vaguely trusts the customer and tries to do the "right thing"... and parasites like this guy take advantage of it.

    And no, I'm aware that Amazon isn't exactly a philanthropic institution, but still - stuff like this will give them one more reason to revert to the more usual "sucks to be you!" level customer support that so many other companies have, and we'll all be the poorer for it.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: What a bunch of leeches.

      More likely the meagre salary that Amazon employees get is affected by these scumbags leeching off revenue.

      What is 825 years jail in real life terms?

    2. STGlove

      Re: What a bunch of leeches.

      I work for a large UK supermarket chain.

      They introduced a refund policy a year ago for the clothing range that did not require a receipt or proof of purchase because you can only their their store branded clothes at their stores.

      The management where all high fives about his great new policy but would not listen to anyone who said "wait a minute, someone could take advantage of this" because the management know better!!

      Well, some customers (well not even customers) decided to take up this great refund policy and would walk into a store pick up a bunch of clothing and walk right round to Customer services to ask for a refund... Bing, there you go Madam, here is your £100 refund in cash.

      The hello again the next day and the same story and so on. THEY LOST HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS in 6 weeks until someone on the management team actually took notice.

      PS, also they chuck out £1000's of stock each day into the bins, this is not out of date stock but in date stock that the lazy shelf fillers can not be bothered to get out of the packaging, so just leave it in the trugs to be crushed in the cardboard crushers..

  2. Mike the FlyingRat

    Think positive!

    Here's an opportunity for Cisco and other companies to focus on their product supply chain from manufacturing thru actual customer delivery. So you claim to have a product... Cisco could verify the Serial Number, and if real, should be able to verify who bought it and where it was shipped to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Think positive!

      With Cisco gear you can get a Smartnet contract on units you purchased on the after market if they were not Smartnet before. I think what these guys do is get serial numbers from eBay listings smartnet the units and then claim they are non working so Cisco send them a replacement unit. They are supposed to return the defective units to Cisco after receiving the replacement but they do not. This was a common scam over they years, I have seen more than a few cases.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Think positive!

        We were indirectly victims of one of those scams.

        We had bought some switch gear from a var that, in turn, bought it from what we had been told was an authorized refurbisher and had the same support and warranty as new.

        The expansion module on said switch gear failed about a month in. When we went to get it RMA'd, we found out that the failed module's serial number was registered to a different company in a different country, the switch it came out of was from an entirely different country and country, and the power supply for the switch was marked as 'unrepairable' in cisco's database.

        I can't recall what happened next; I think we returned the failed module to the var and got the ownership/registration worked out with the switch itself, and also replaced the power supply with OE.

        We've since gone back to buying directly from cisco from a different var.

  3. Marcelo Rodrigues
    Trollface

    Never mind the 825 years

    He should be really worried about the 5 supervised years!...

    Yes, yes. I'll get my coat. Thanks, I know the way out.

  4. dnicholas Bronze badge

    The good news is that scientists have cracked aging so everyone can live forever. Bad news is you're going down for 825 years

  5. VanguardG
    Trollface

    Theoretically, should he somehow live to the end of the 825 years, would the fine be considered payable in 2020 money, or 2845 money? Inflation being what it is, 8 million could be just a few days' work then.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    825 years

    Why not make them work for Amazon for 825 years to repay the money they stole? Too much like slavery I suppose so they will be getting free (but lousy) accommodation for the rest of their lives ... in jail this will probably only be a 10-15 years.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "more than four times the proceeds of the alleged crime spree"

    Meanwhile, telcos get caught selling your information and they get what ? Certainly not a fine four times the amount of what they made.

    Sure, this guy is a scumbag and, at only 23 years of age, it's frightening to think what he could become.

    But come on, 800+ years and he didn't even kill anybody ? The system is crazy.

    And yes, I know that this is just the count of all the indictments and he doesn't risk getting 800 years. It's still nuts though.

  8. John Robson Silver badge

    iRobot Corporation...

    I hope Asimov('s estate) get's a healthy chunk of their profits...

  9. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Revolving door

    825 years? Bah! We'll be lucky if he serves half of that.

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