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US fraudster sent to jail after refusing to give up the Net

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A San Diego man has landed himself a one-year jail sentence after refusing to give up the Net.

Manuchehr Riazati collected more than $2,500 through selling computers and electronic items via online auctions. But he failed to deliver the goods after receiving the cash.

Yesterday he was found guilty of two misdemeanour counts of petty theft and two counts of violating California's law regarding selling online, KGTV reports.

But Superior Court Judge Cynthia Bashant told Riazati she would grant him probation for three years. The only condition was that he must promise to give up the Internet.

Riazati refused, saying his livelihood depended on it, and Bashant sentenced him to 360 days in custody.

He was also ordered to pay back the $2,500 to the six surfers he duped with the scheme.

Riazati was rumbled in 1999 after bidders tried to buy goods from him on eBay, where he operated under the name of "manush2000". He got surfers to send cashier's cheques or money orders to an address in San Diego, and said the goods would be delivered once he received payment. But nothing was sent.

Deputy City Attorney David Karlin yesterday urged surfers to use credit cards when buying items online. ®

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