MONROE, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that a West Monroe man was sentenced in federal court yesterday for his role in a scheme that bilked eBay customers out of nearly $2 million.
Randall Keith Byrd, 66, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty to serve four years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Doughty also ordered Byrd to pay $1,371,080.66 in restitution. Byrd pled guilty on March 16, 2020, to one count of wire fraud.
According to information presented in court, Byrd used eBay and PayPal to defraud hundreds of eBay customers out of nearly $2 million over a five-week period. Byrd listed and sold gold bullion and/or various types and quantities of gold coins, and primarily received payment through PayPal. Byrd never sent the purchased merchandise to the customers. When eBay customers inquired about the status of their purchase, Byrd provided fraudulent shipping and tracking information to delay the discovery that he had not sent the coins. As part of the scheme, between March 2019 and June 2019, the defendant utilized existing bank accounts and established new bank accounts to conduct financial transactions with the proceeds from his fraudulent coin sales.
In September of 2019, law enforcement officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Byrd’s residence and found $228,700 in cash, a cashier’s check in the amount of $140,499.22, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, three Rolex watches, 66 gold and silver coins, and 11 firearms.
The FBI and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan prosecuted the case.
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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.