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Multiple Bidding Auction Fraud Lawyers

Action Fraud on Online Auction Websites

Action fraud poses a significant challenge on online auction platforms like eBay. Statistics reveal that approximately 25 percent of all fraud complaints reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center involve allegations of online auction fraud. Both sellers and buyers can find themselves entangled in such fraudulent activities.

Understanding Multiple Bidding Auction Fraud

Multiple bidding auction fraud is a particular type of auction fraud where a seller fails to receive the correct amount for an item due to illegitimate bidding practices. In these instances, sellers may resort to civil lawsuits to seek compensation. However, individuals accused of multiple bidding auction fraud may also face federal or state criminal charges.

What Constitutes Multiple Bidding Auction Fraud?

In essence, multiple bidding auction fraud occurs when a buyer places numerous bids on an item using various aliases, usernames, or identities. Typically, one or more bids are inflated to dissuade legitimate bidders, while other bids are intentionally kept low. Subsequently, the buyer retracts the high bids at the last minute, allowing the auction to close for one of the artificially low bids made by one of the buyer’s aliases. Consequently, the seller is compelled to let go of the item for a fraction of its actual value.

Multiple bidding auction fraud essentially operates as the antithesis of shill bidding, wherein sellers artificially inflate prices using fake bids and aliases. Instead, in multiple bidding, the aim is to depress prices through deceptive bidding tactics.

Penalties for Multiple Bidding Auction Fraud

While instances of multiple bidding auction fraud often go unnoticed by sellers, retracting multiple bids may attract scrutiny and prompt investigations. If it is determined that the buyer engaged in multiple bidding to manipulate the auction, they may face criminal charges.

Under New York State law, the Donnelly Act encompasses prohibitions on price-fixing and bid-rigging, which have been applied to online auctions where bid-rigging occurred. Depending on the specifics of the auction, penalties may include felony charges, up to four years of imprisonment, fines ranging up to $100,000 for individuals, and up to $1 million for businesses.

Although historical criminal cases under the Donnelly Act primarily focused on driving up prices and shill bidding, placing false bids to lower prices could also potentially constitute a crime under this Act.

Additionally, since bidders use wire communications in committing multiple bidding auction fraud, defendants may face wire fraud charges under 18 U.S. Code Section 1343. Given that wire fraud is a federal offense, individuals convicted of this crime may face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Hence, seeking legal representation from an experienced multiple auction fraud attorney is crucial to understanding and navigating the charges.

Seeking Legal Representation

If you or a loved one is facing allegations of multiple bidding auction fraud and requires legal assistance, contact Spodek Law Group, PC today. To secure a conviction, prosecutors must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly and willfully violated the law. Whether facing prosecution from a U.S. Attorney at the federal level or a New York district attorney, having a knowledgeable legal advocate is essential for protecting one’s rights and pursuing justice.

The attorneys at Spodek Law Group, PC have a proven track record of successfully defending clients accused of auction fraud crimes, including multiple bidding auction fraud. If you have questions about the legal assistance available or wish to schedule a free consultation with their team, reach out to them today

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