An eBay user has been slapped with a £5,000 fine (including court costs) for bidding on his own auctions to force the price up.
Paul Barrett from County Durham would have faced prison but for the fact that he hadn’t been in trouble with the law previously, according to a report in the Independent. Or indeed if the sums of money involved had been larger. Barrett has also been ordered to undertake 250 hours of community service to make amends for his wrongdoings.
He used a second eBay account to bid up the items on his primary account, and also gave himself positive feedback. He wasn’t too bright at setting up his con, though, using the same IP address and contact details for both accounts, and indeed employing his moniker “Paul” as a part of both account names.
The items involved in his auction shenanigans weren’t small, and apparently included several vehicles.
By Darren Allan eBay conman gets £5,000 fine for bidding up own items