Amazon has taken over as the e-commerce king proving time and again that no competitor even comes close to their success. They consistently have the lowest prices, and their impressive sales during their annual “Prime Day” are legendary. But one 22-year-old man allegedly took the powerhouse company for a bit of a ride to the tune of $370,000.
James Gilbert Kwarteng, who is from Spain, has been accused of fraud by Amazon after he would buy goods such as iPhones or other valuables and then return the boxes for a refund. But instead of sending the actual purchased products back, Kwarteng would send back a box of dirt that weighed the exact same weight as the product Amazon had shipped to him originally.
Ironically, Amazon doesn’t check the contents of their returns very often. It was pure dumb luck that the company caught on to this man’s illicit scheme. According to Fox 29, Amazon will scan a returned box and weigh it as a part of their return check-in, and only occasionally do employees actually open the boxes for a physical check.
Unfortunately for Kwarteng, at one point, one of his boxes became one of the randomly opened boxes. Once his fraud was discovered, the Technological Crimes Unit of the Superior Headquarters of the Balearic Islands took over the investigation from local police, and the young man was arrested and is currently out on bail.
Kwarteng’s parents were also charged as the police argued they were just as liable as many packages were coming and going from their home, Business Insider reported.
Amazon has a return policy that states a product can be returned for a full refund as long as it is returned within the 30 day purchase period. Within two to five business days, a refund will be issued.
Kwarteng’s illicit activity allowed him to open his own business selling the products he scammed Amazon out of. He would promote the items as unopen and sell them as new.
This isn’t the first time the retail website was scammed out of a large amount of product and money. Back in 2017, Erin Finan and Leah Jeanette Finan from Indiana ran a similar scheme, but they ripped the company off for $1.2 million.
They both pleaded guilty to the charges of mail fraud and money laundering.