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Con Artist Sentenced for Internet Auction Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. – May 13, 2005)  A Phoenix man was sentenced Thursday to more than four years in prison for attempting to sell cars and car parts on various Internet auction sites, including e-Bay. Corey Dominique Kelly, 22, pled guilty to numerous charges, including computer tampering, forgery, and committing further crimes while on probation.

From June of 2001 to June of 2002, Kelly placed a number of items up for auction which he never owned nor intended to deliver. Kelly used auction Internet sites such as e-Bay and “thepartstrader.com” to list the items.   To help launder the proceeds of his auction fraud, 

Kelly was also involved in identity theft during this same time period.  He was sentenced in April 2004 to three months in jail and three years probation, and was ordered to pay restitution totaling $33,075. His probation terms at that time prohibited him from using online auction sites, such as e-Bay.

Kelly was released from jail in July 2004, and while serving his probation sentence, posted an ad for a Mercedes convertible on e-Bay Motors. The car had been advertised for sale in a local newspaper. The online auction received a high bid of $73,000, but the buyer became suspicious, and after some research realized the sale was a fraud and contacted the Phoenix Police Department.

When Kelly went in to pick up what he believed was a $73,000 money order for the vehicle he did not own, he was arrested.

Kelly was indicted again in 2005 after investigators received new complaints about fraudulent transactions.   While awaiting trial in early 2004, Kelly had returned to “thepartstrader.com” auction site and used names of friends to conduct the transactions. After victims agreed to pay for various car parts, he asked them to send money to his business partner named Corey Kelly. The parts were never shipped.

One victim even flew to Phoenix and met with Kelly who was using a false name while negotiating the purchase of a Honda Accord. The buyer was shown a vehicle that did not belong to Kelly, and later paid him $6,000 for the car, but never received the vehicle. 

Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Colleen French sentenced Kelly to four and a half years in prison and four years probation following his prison sentence. Additionally, Kelly was ordered to pay restitution to 15 victims totaling $58,607. Kelly will be prohibited from owning or using a computer while on probation.

Assistant Attorney General Todd Lawson prosecuted this case.