Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ebay seller indicted on $1.5 million fraud through U.S. Postal Service

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A Kendall area man with a history of violence, working-with-your-hands crime has been accused of a $1.5 million white collar scheme in a federal court indictment.

Edwin Garcia-Albarracin’s alleged victim: The U.S. Postal Service.

That’s why the 32-count indictment of Garcia-Albarracin, 45, includes 10 counts of mail fraud along with 10 counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of money laundering. The man also known as “Edwin Garcia” has a detention hearing on Tuesday.

As described in the indictment, Garcia-Albarracin didn’t reinvent the wheel for this scam. He just kept rolling with it until it rolled up major dollars.

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Through Rambos Market, he sold goods online in places like eBay and Listia. He’d send the products to various buyers throughout the country using USPS, buying postal insurance for each.

He, then, the indictment said, “submitted false and fraudulent claims through the USPS Customer Inquiry and Claims Response System, certifying that contents of certain packages that he had mailed were damaged when….Garcia-Albarracin then and there well knew the contents were not damaged.”

The indictment says Garcia-Albarracin supported his claims by sending photographs of damaged products. Problem was, prosecutors claim, the pictures weren’t of the products Garcia-Albarracin actually sent.

Each electronic filing of a fraudulent claim counted as wire fraud. As for the money laundering, prosecutors allege he moved the ill-gotten gains around to hide them or hide from whence they came.

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One of those money movements listed was an Aug. 28, 2019 $20,000 check written on Garcia-Albarracin’s Citibank account “for the purchase of a home located at 9425 SW 171st Pl., Miami, Florida.”

That’s why the government’s going after that house in forfeiture. Miami-Dade online property records say Garcia-Albarracin bought that 2015-built, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Kendall Commons Townhomes area home last year for $380,000.

If what the government alleges is true, it would represent a shift for Garcia-Albarracin’s criminal activities. This scam involved economically throwing the bull. His previous crimes involved violently throwing hands.

According to Miami-Dade County online court records, aside from a 2016 petit theft rap that cost him $358 in fine and court costs, the owner of Rambos Market tended toward more physical crime.

2006: withheld adjudication with a fine and court costs of $278 after a charge of assault on an elderly person.

2003: a charge of battery on a sports official led to a year’s probation.

2001: Garcia-Albarracin completed a pre-trial diversion program after assault and battery and witness tampering/harassment charges.

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