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Man gets 5 years for Internet, bank scam

Source: Missoulian.com
Associated Press
Date: November 02, 2003

Cyber Crimes MISSOULA - A Washington man was sentenced to five years in prison for a check kiting scheme involving more than $250,000, money police say was used to run an Internet auction scam.

Timothy W. Omer, 38, of Wenatchee, Wash., was charged with wire fraud for allegedly operating a scam on eBay. Police say Omer was part of a ring that took money for electronic equipment the conspirators never possessed or shipped.

On top of the prison time, Omer was also ordered Wednesday to pay $256,445 in restitution and a fine of $3,000 by District Court Judge Donald Molloy.

Police say the scam routed more than $220,000 from Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, where payment had been made by customers through a Billpoint account, to accounts Omer and his associates had set up at five Montana banks, including three in western Montana.

Fraud victims were scattered across the country, authorities said.

To help run the scam, authorities said Omer deposited nonsufficient funds checks among the six accounts, then drew checks against the inflated balance for deposit into another of the accounts.

He then drew checks against these inflated account balances to pay for purchases of goods and services from third parties with funds that did not exist.

More than a dozen banks were involved but not all lost money, authorities said.

Farmers State Bank in Victor, Pacific Northwest Bank in East Wenatchee, Wash., the First Citizens Bank in Polson and the Montana Educators Federal Credit Union in Missoula were all used in the scheme.

Original article

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