A 21-year-old woman and her partner from Horb am Neckar, Germany were standing trial for committing fraud and drug possession.
According to official information from the Horb District Court, the woman created “several fake profiles with false information on a well-known commercial platform” (eBay or Amazon possibly). She also allegedly “hacked PayPal” to prove that she actually paid for her purchases. We do not really know how the suspect managed to breach PayPal’s systems. However, what we do know, is that the 21-year-old used information on the dark web to perform such activities.
By doing so, the woman managed to purchase a diamond ring for 1,800 euros, and a high-quality digital camera worth 1,500 euros. Her boyfriend drove the suspect to the delivery point to pick up the goods. The 21-year-old wanted to sell the two products to get out from their precarious financial situation. The fraud scheme seemed like it would work, however, police started investigating the case after the victims filed complaints.
On March 21, 2016, law enforcement authorities searched the house of the two suspects in Dornstetten. Investigators seized the digital camera the 21-year-old bought along with seven grams of marijuana and some hash. The prosecutor accused her of fraud and unauthorized possession of narcotics. Her partner was also accused of fraud, and illicit possession of narcotics.
According to the police, the woman was talkative during the interrogation. However, at the beginning of her court trial, she wanted to remain silent. Additionally, her partner said that he is suffering from lack of memory.
“Because of the immense stress that the trial causes me, I can remember almost nothing,” he said.
However, Albrecht Trick, Director of the District Court, asked specific questions about the case, which helped both suspects’ memories.
“I’ve been looking at the internet to get money quickly and came across fraud,” the woman said.
According to the 21-year-old, she had two car accidents, which she was responsible for. Thanks to this, the woman experienced financial difficulties and hoped to restore her bank account with the fraud scheme. Her partner is working in the IT industry, however, the woman found all fraud-related information on the internet, the man did not help her.
After the woman received the diamond ring, she visited a jeweler to sell the product. However, she was astonished when she found out that the ring was fake. The suspect sold the jewel anyways.
“She acted according to a kind of ostrich tactics, and actually suppressed the fact that she was harmed somehow,” a representative of the Tübingen Youth Judiciary told the court. She recommended to issue a warning to the woman. The representative also suggested sentencing the suspect to debt, and addiction counseling.
The court followed the representative’s recommendation. The woman was sentenced to pay 2,000 euros (in installments of 250 euros) to one of the victims. Since the digital camera was not sold, it was given back to its rightful owner. Her friend was sentenced to pay 200 euros for drug possession. The fraud charges against him were dropped.