6/12/07

eBay retailer fined in phony bid scheme

Ezra Dweck and his company EMH Group LLC have agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and restitution for artificially inflating prices on their eBay sale items by placing phony bids, the New York state attorney general has announced.

Don Davis , Editor in Chief

Ezra Dweck and his company EMH Group LLC have agreed to pay $400,000 in fines and restitution for artificially inflating prices on their eBay sale items by placing phony bids, the New York state attorney general’s office has announced.

Company employees placed 232,000 bids in just over a year to raise prices, seeking to hike bids to a predetermined price for each item, according to the release from the attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo. He says EMH “frequently lured unsuspecting shoppers with the promise of ‘no reserve’ auctions,” in which there is no minimum bid and the highest bidder wins the auction.

Under the terms of the settlement with the New York state attorney general, Dweck and EMH Group are banned for four years from participating in online auctions in addition to paying the $400,000. Should the company reenter the business, the New York attorney general will monitor its activities.

The case was brought to the attention of the New York attorney general by eBay, which cooperated in the investigation, Cuomo says. Dweck sold jewelry on an eBay store called Jewelry by Ezra as well as on his own website, www.AuctionRiot.com, Cuomo says.

Topics:

Auction, Commerce, Cuomo, Dweck, New York

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