Woman pleads guilty to running fraudulent online eBay scheme.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston woman pled guilty to mail fraud on Thursday.
39-year-old Ashley Turner Doyle admitted to conducting an internet auction fraud scheme on eBay selling knock-off jewelry as genuine and also sometimes failing to deliver any jewelry to paying customers between January 2006 and February 2009.
According to court documents. Doyle operated her eBay auction business out of her downtown Charleston home. From this location, she connected to the Internet, created online auctions, posted digital photographs of merchandise, responded to customer inquiries, monitored online auctions, and corresponded with auction winners. Shipments to auction winners were also packaged at this location.
Court documents state that in order to make the scheme work, Doyle established an online merchant account with eBay using false information, including the name "Connie Samo," a Georgia address, and a Georgia phone number.
She used "mailto:email@example.com", several User IDs to host her online auctions, several email addresses in relation to the User IDs and for the purpose of finalizing sales of items on eBay, the ccounts "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org","mailto:email@example.com", "mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org", and used several names in relation to the User IDs and for the purpose of finalizing sales of items on eBay, including, but not limited to, "Connie Samo" and "Sarah Yarmie."
Furthermore, documents state Doyle used several different company names for her online auction business, including, but not limited to, the following names: "Solidity," Solidity, Inc.," Solidarity, Inc.," "Jevani," Wentworth Enterprizes," and "Solas, Inc."
To further hide from her customers, Doyle established an account for "Solidity" with a commercial mail receiving agency with locations across the country, including locations in Beaverton, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, investigators said. Doyle used the remote addresses to give the appearance that her business "Solidity" was located in Beaverton and/or Seattle when in fact she resided/operated in downtown Charleston.
Doyle's preferred payment method was for the auction winners to mail her money orders as payment for the jewelry, officials say.
Investigators say the actual charge of mail fraud come from a case involving a Charleston victim. According to the investigation, that victim won an eBay auction on April 23, 2008 for a new David Yurman bracelet for $255.00. The seller was Doyle, who was representing herself as "Sarah Yarmie."
The victim emailed "Sarah Yarmie" and said she wanted to pay for the bracelet using PayPal, but "Sarah Yarmie" said no and told the victim to mail the payment to the Beaverton, Oregon address.
On April 29, 2008, the victim mailed a Postal Money Order via USPS in the amount of $255 to the Beaverton, Oregon address. Doyle then mailed a knock-off or cheap imitation bracelet to the victim. A representative of Yurman Design, Inc. later confirmed that the bracelet was not an authentic piece of David Yurman jewelry.
The United States Postal Inspection Service identified 103 complaints filed against Doyle and the various company names she used in her scheme. As part of her plea agreement, Doyle stipulated that she stole $21,203.61 from her victims.
The maximum penalty Doyle could receive is a fine of $250,000 and imprisonment for 20 years, a special assessment of $100, and supervised release of 3 years. The case was investigated by agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service.