According to a new report from The Star Press, an Indiana couple has pled guilty to stealing over $1 million worth of electronics from Amazon. The couple are now being charged with federal mail fraud and money laundering resulting from an elaborate plot.
The couple — Erin Finan, 38, and Leak Finan, 37 — put together a scheme that took advantage of Amazon's accommodating return policy. Here's how the policy works. Per Amazon's return policy, the company would send out replacement items for damaged goods. The couple took advantage of this. Under hundreds of false identities, the couple would purchase items like smartwatches and GoPro cameras, then would claim the item as damaged or not working once they received them. Amazon would send out a replacement item, but never receive the damaged items back.
There was also a third party involved. Danijel Glumac, helped the couple move the stolen items and also advised them on how to go unnoticed by Amazon. The Finans would sell the electronics to Glumac at a price that's below market trends, and Glumac would then resell the items to the public through an unnamed New York entity. Glumac also laundered the profits before paying the Finans their share. In total, it seems that Glumac paid out over $1.2 million for the fraud goods, of which around $725,000 were paid to Finans.
The couple were caught due to a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Indiana State Police. The couple were charged with federal mail fraud and money laundering earlier this year in May, and have now pled guilty.
Under the plea agreement, the couple are required to pay Amazon back $1,218,504 for the stolen merchandise and are potentially seeing up to 20 years in prison. A final sentencing is set for November 9th when we find out what the final punishment will be for the couple.