A Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for a scheme to defraud more than 1,200 victims by selling forged sports and celebrity memorabilia through eBay as well as illegally possessing a firearm when he was arrested after a police chase.
David Bruce Shryock, 49, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Shryock to pay $174,894 in restitution to his victims.
On Oct. 3, 2011, Shryock pleaded guilty to wire fraud and to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Shryock admitted that, from February 2005 to December 2010, he used eight separate eBay accounts to defraud 1,232 victims. Shryock sold forged rock album covers and sports memorabilia bearing forged autographs.
In order to evade detection and continue his scheme when his eBay and PayPal accounts were suspended, Shryock opened other accounts in the names of various persons. Proceeds from the sales were deposited into various bank accounts controlled by those persons, who then withdrew the funds and gave the money to Shryock, minus a percentage for their assistance in the scheme.
According to prosecutors, Shryock defrauded his victims out of almost $175,000. eBay and PayPal lost $2,512 as the result of reimbursing customers for claims regarding fraudulent transactions and failure to provide merchandise.
Shryock was arrested on Dec. 15, 2010, following a police chase. Joplin police officers responded to a call regarding a burglary in progress at The Law Offices of Ty Gaither, 740 Illinois in Joplin. When officers arrived, the back door of the business was broken out and a Cadillac was parked behind the business. When Shryock walked out of the business and saw the police officers, he got into the Cadillac and drove off at a high rate of speed. Another officer, who had been parked in front of the business, activated his lights and sirens but Shryock refused to stop and a pursuit ensued. Shryock drove off a cliff and ran from his vehicle, but was arrested after a brief foot chase.
Officers searched Shryock’s vehicle and found a Norinco 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which Ty Gaither identified as his, and which he had been keeping at his office.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Shryock has prior felony convictions for forgery, failure to return rental property, possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful merchandising practice.