La Pine man gets 2 years for eBay camera-sales scheme

But he gets to finish community college first

EUGENE, Ore. - A La Pine man faces two years in federal prison for a money-laundering and wire fraud scheme on eBay -- but first, the judge will let him finish his community college classes.

U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Erik William Johnson, 44, on Tuesday to two years in federal prison for money laundering.

According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Johnson defrauded 91 eBay customers of over $180,000 in payments for high-end digital cameras he advertised for sale on the online service.

The wire fraud scheme occurred over a three-week period in June 2011. Johnson received $189,916.99 in payments but only shipped $5,245 worth of cameras to customers.

The basis of Johnson’s guilty plea to money laundering was his use of proceeds from the eBay scheme to pay for a sport utility vehicle. The defrauded customers received refunds from eBay totaling $103,838.98.     

Johnson will remain out of custody until September 2018 to allow him to complete his studies at a local community college, prosecutors said.

The judge also ordered him to pay $103,838.98 to eBay and perform 150 hours of community service.    

This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by William “Bud” Fitzgerald, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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