VACAVILLE — A 27-year-old Vacaville man was one of five people arrested by federal agents on suspicion of conspiracy to commit mail fraud involving eBay and fencing millions of dollars of stolen goods for several years.
Joshua R. Payne is expected to be arraigned April 24, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the federal prosecutor’s office in Sacramento. Payne was also charged with lying to federal agents.
“The investigation of this bold conspiracy has exposed a network of individuals fueled by limitless greed,” FBI Agent Herbert M. Brown said in the release. “We are especially thankful for eBay’s assistance with the investigation that ultimately led to these arrests.”
One of Payne’s alleged accomplices controlled an eBay account that, since 2009, listed more than 17,000 items for sale.
Proceeds of the sales were deposited into a PayPal account and then laundered through ATM withdrawals, cash back purchases and the purchase of more than $600,000 in money orders. Federal agents watching one of Payne’s alleged accomplices saw him going to different stores and appearing to steal a variety of items, which were then posted for sale on eBay.
Investigators believe more than $3 million in stolen merchandise was sold over eBay.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.