Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, March 28, how Carl James Sherlock, 23, of North Street, South Normanton, took payments but never delivered the phones during the scam over eBay.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The three victims each believed they were bidding for mobile phones advertised by an eBay auction in April last year.
“The three complainants emailed details offering to buy the phones and they were asked to send bank details by email and payment was made by a BACS system.”
Mrs Allsop explained that the complainants paid £200, £345.45 and £420 respectively, and £974.45 was obtained by the defendant but none of the complainants received any phones.
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The complainants believed that they had been dealing with a female because the money was paid into Sherlock’s partner’s bank account which he had access to, according to Mrs Allsop.
Mrs Allsop added that one of the complainants was given a false tracking number which was provided to police and Sherlock was arrested.
Sherlock admitted to police that he made sales of phones over eBay when he did not have any phones to sell.
He claimed he was aiming to buy mobile phones himself with the intention of eventually selling these to the complainants at a profit.
Sherlock, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by making false representations by accepting money for mobile phones which he did not possess.
Defence solicitor Asif Akram said he was going through personal financial difficulties after he had an accident resulting in him losing his job.
He added: “He moved accommodation and rent arrears were accumulating and his partner was pregnant and he had to apply for benefits.”
Magistrates adjourned the case to consider a probation report before sentencing Sherlock on March 30 to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £974.45 in compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.