Feeds

eBay jewellery store fined $400,000 for shill bidding

eBay reports offender to authorities

High performance access to file storage

A jewellery company which allegedly bid on its own eBay auctions to "illegally drive up prices by as much as 20 per cent" will pay $400,000 (£204,000) in "restitution and penalties", Reuters reports.

The New York state attorney general's office said Ezra Dweck of EMH Group and his employees made over 232,000 bids on auctions in the company's Jewellery by Ezra eBay store. The store regularly held no-reserve auctions, but Dweck "ensured his employees knew of which auctions to bid at along with a predetermined price".

In around a year, these bids totalled some $5m, the attorney general's office claimed. Attorney general Andrew Cuomo said: "This scam highlights the growing vulnerability of online auction shoppers. Consumers should not have to surf with sharks."

Dweck and EMH deny the claims, and a lawyer for the company said it had agreed to cough up the cash "only to avoid an interminable, costly battle with the AG's office". He explained: "EMH and Mr Dweck did not intentionally encourage any fraudulent bidding. A buyback program, which was vetted by two attorneys, was created to give winning bidders an incentive to sell back to EMH certain items."

The attorney general's office was alerted to the alleged scam by eBay, which "helped in the investigation over several months". eBay spokeswoman Nichola Sharpe said: "We do not tolerate criminal activity and proactively assist law enforcement to prosecute any individual who may try to defraud our users."

Cuomo's office added that Dweck and EMH Group have also been "banned from the online auction industry for four years under the terms of the settlement agreed to by the parties". ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.