He had a lot of different names but he didn’t always have the cards he was selling.
A man who federal prosecutors claim sold sports card cases on eBay, then left customers high and dry pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a federal court Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.
William R. Cooper, age 35, reached a plea agreement with the government late last month for 16 counts of fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date..
Cooper, also known as Robert Cooper, Michael R. Cooper and Shane Murray, was accused of pre-selling unreleased products–mostly new issues of basketball, baseball and football cards–on eBay but not delivering the cases to customers.
Prosecutors claim Cooper knowingly devised a scheme for obtaining money from internet customers by means of false and fraudulent pretenses using the U.S. Mail, a federal offense. The government says it tracked Cooper’s illegal activity from October 2003 through April of 2007.
Court documents obtained by Sports Collectors Daily show Cooper received payment for numerous cases, cards and other non-memorabilia related items in amounts ranging from $2,180.98 to $89.10. The orders came from numerous states. The largest payment Cooper received was submitted by a buyer in Illinois who purchased a case of Upper Deck baseball cards but never received the merchandise. Other orders included cases of basketball cards made by Upper Deck, Donruss Diamond Kings baseball and boxes of Donruss Timeless Treasures, one case of which Cooper sold for $1,020.
Some of the orders were sent to an address in New Lexington, Ohio while others were mailed to a different address in Canal Winchester, Ohio. Cooper could face up to five years in prison on each count as well as fines of $250,000 per count and five years of release supervision per count.