UPDATE: WEST MONROE, La. (KARD/KTVE) — (7/2/2020) A West Monroe man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a scheme that defrauded eBay customers out of nearly $2 million.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, 66-year-old Randall Byrd was sentenced to four years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Byrd has also been ordered to pay $1,371,080 in restitution.
According to information presented in court, Byrd used eBay and PayPal to defraud hundreds of eBay customers out of nearly $2 million over a five-week period. Byrd listed and sold gold bullion and/or various types and quantities of gold coins, and primarily received payment through PayPal. Byrd never sent the purchased merchandise to the customers. When eBay customers inquired about the status of their purchase, Byrd provided fraudulent shipping and tracking information to delay the discovery that he had not sent the coins. As part of the scheme, between March 2019 and June 2019, the defendant utilized existing bank accounts and established new bank accounts to conduct financial transactions with the proceeds from his fraudulent coin sales.
WEST MONROE, La. — (9/11/19) A West Monroe man faces a felony theft charge after making fraudulent transactions through eBay over several years.
Per the affidavit, around May 29, 2019, eBay Inc. contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in reference to a suspected fraud complaint. The FBI requested the assistance of the Louisiana State Police to help with the investigation.
The suspect, 66-year-old Randall Byrd, listed numerous postings for gold bullion and/or gold coins for sale. Byrd would receive the payments and never send the gold bullion/gold coins to the buyers. eBay alleges these types of fraudulent transactions date back several years to 2004. The estimated monetary loss, according to eBay, is approximately $853,836.
Investigators tracked down and froze Byrd’s account at Capital One Bank on August 27, 2019. The bank provided investigators with a 93-page report detailing the account’s history.
Byrd was arrested and booked into Ouachita Correctional Center on September 10, 2019, where he was charged with felony theft.
His bond has been set at $854,000.
by: ALLISON BRUHL, Jonathan Freeman