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Local man pleads to mail fraud in connection with used textbook scam


BUFFALO -- Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Jeffrey Tomasik, 33, of Hamburg, pleaded guilty to mail fraud before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant ran a used textbook scheme whereby he would rent textbooks from Amazon and other companies and then sell the textbooks on eBay.  Using aliases and at least 20 online accounts with different email addresses to perpetrate the fraud, the defendant did not return the textbooks when the rental contracts had expired.  Instead, he sold them online while ignoring the collection notices.

The defendant also entered into a sizeable contract to sell used textbooks to victims in California.  After receiving an approximately $50,000 down payment on the contract via PayPal, the defendant allegedly sent a single textbook and removed his bank information from his PayPal account so that the victims could not recoup their money.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski of the Boston Division.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14.