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Dirt-Filled Boxes Enable $370K Amazon Scam: Report

James Gilbert Kwarteng is accused of sending the online retailer returns in dirt-filled boxes
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2019 10:30 AM CDT
This May 3, 2018, photo shows boxes on a conveyor belt during a tour of the Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Talk about audacious: A man in Spain is accused of scamming Amazon out of $370,000 by returning items in dirt-filled boxes, Fox Business reports. According to Spanish newspapers, 22-year-old James Gilbert Kwarteng weighed the refilled boxes to match the product weight and received his refunds. The boxes apparently went unnoticed in Amazon warehouses until a random search turned up the alleged scam. But Kwarteng had already spent the income on starting a new company—Kwartech, a mix of his name and "technology"—that sold unused merchandise without packaging. "Sound familiar?" asks Fox 29.

The Palma de Mallorca resident, who was arrested and released on about $3,300 bail, is said to have perpetrated the dirty refunds with an associate who helped him carefully weigh the boxes, per Business Insider. His parents have also been charged, and Kwarteng's lawyer is trying to get them off the hook. Seems Kwarteng took advantage of Amazon's return policy, which allows returns within 30 days and sends back funds within three to five business days. (But this is small fry next to another alleged Amazon fraud.)

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