Man Charged In Alleged Scam
Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services
EVERETT - Brier resident Michael Stefan Prime, 19, has been charged with first-degree theft and two counts of possessing stolen property in an alleged scam to steal from people trying to sell items on the Internet. He was charged Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court.
According to court papers, Prime used bogus e-mail addresses to trick people selling items on eBay, an online auction service, to ship him the goods without payment. The victims would get an e-mail that appeared to come from an online escrow service that normally protects the buyer and seller in Internet transactions, court papers said.
The Snohomish County sheriff's office said Prime allegedly used this method to steal a $3,350 computer, Rolex watches valued at more than $5,000, and nearly $2,500 worth of remote-controlled helicopters.
An investigation started when the Internet escrow company discovered the transactions, and noticed items were being shipped to Lynnwood and Kenmore.
Prime was arrested after he picked up a package that was supposed to contain merchandise stolen from an eBay customer, a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor said.
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