Fake eBay Bidder Ordered To Pay Fines

Posted Jul 7, 2010

This is the first case where an eBay seller is being prosecuted for bidding on his own auction in order to boost prices. Paul Barrett was ordered to pay £5,000 ($7,588) as ordered by a judge for breaches of fair trade regulations. Barrett lives in Durham, England. He is also being told to do 250 hours of unpaid work.

The investigation began when Barrett sold a minibus with false low mileage. This “shill bidding” case is the first kind where a new UK legislation passed in 2008 for Internet fraud is being used to charge a seller. Barrett used two eBay usernames to do the shill bidding: paulthebusman and shanconpaul.

Sometimes Barrett would win his own auctions and give himself positive feedback. “Thanks very much. Item is great.”

The only reason why Barrett isn’t doing any jail time is because does not have any prior convictions.