Even if we aren’t privy to the specificity or severity of the punishment, we intuitively understand that banks, email accounts, and nearly all web-based activity can be traced, and that police can use that information to find us. Big Brother, is indeed, watching.
Want proof? Just ask this pair of criminals from Norfolk, Virginia who were arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District court on ten felony charges relating to the false sale of a vehicle.
The two posted an array of classics on Craigslist totalling more than $146,000. Admittedly, there’s some good imaginary metal in there: A 1964 Chevrolet Corvette C2 and a 1970 Chevelle; a 1970 Dodge Barracuda; a 1965 Ford Mustang and even a 1956 Porsche Cabriolet.
Naturally, the two were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, wire fraud, and illegally structuring transactions to evade proper reporting requirements. And it’s not exactly a light sentence, either, as each wire fraud charge carries the possibility of 20 years in prison.
According to local Norfolk, VA news outlets, the scheme started around August 2012 and last until February of this year and involved posting advertisements for vehicles in need of restoration. As it turns out, the defendants never even possessed the vehicles in the first place.
They’d use multiple phones and emails to correspond with buyers, and then convince the buyer to wire money into a fake bank account. The thieves would then quickly redraw the cash and abandon all communication.
Luckily, the crims were found in this case and it looks like they could face some serious time for their misdeeds. And the Internet is now that much better for it.