In the largest EBay case ever prosecuted in Los Angeles County, a man was sentenced Friday to a three-year term for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who never got computers they bought online. Chris Chong Kim, 28, will be incarcerated at night at a state facility but will be allowed to work during the day, with part of the money he earns going to repay his victims.
Kim, who pleaded no contest to grand theft, agreed to pay restitution of about $600,000 to his victims, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Jonathan Fairtlough. Kim was sentenced by Superior Court Judge David Horwitz.
Kim had a business site on EBay called CalvinAuctions.com and had been selling high-end computers, laptops and other equipment for two years. But he stopped shipping merchandise in April 2002, prosecutors said. More than 170 customers around the world have registered complaints against Kim and his company, authorities said.
In addition to losses of about $180,000 to individual buyers, the Internet payment service PayPal, which EBay owns, paid $360,000 to reimburse Kim's customers, Fairtlough said. Bank of America and EBay also lost money, the prosecutor said.
Comment : keep these tips in mind when considering online transactions:
Verify with a credible source before you send any money;
Ask questions and do not ignore any suspicions you may have;
Do not share your personal or financial information with someone you do not know;
Never give out personal information in an email or over the telephone;