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Three Sentenced in eBay Fencing Scam

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Security

Two men and one woman were sentenced to prison terms Tuesday after pleading guilty to defrauding home improvement giants The Home Depot Inc. and Lowe's Companies Inc. of more than $200,000 by selling improperly obtained store cards and merchandise on eBay.

David Oliver, 36, was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison. Accomplices Mindy Oliver and Marcus Abercrombie were both sentenced to one year, eight months in prison, according to a statement from David E. Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

eBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Olivers were ordered to pay $229,127 in restitution to the two companies, and Abercrombie was ordered to forfeit over $186,000 to compensate Lowe's and Home Depot, according to the statement.

The three were accused of operating a scam at stores in five states beginning in March 2002. The scam involved switching bar codes of high-priced items with those from lower-priced items, allowing them to purchase the expensive items at a reduced price. The three would then return the high-priced items for store credit in the form of store debit cards, and then fence the cards and merchandise purchased with the debit cards on eBay.

The U.S. Secret Service investigated the case.

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