A man who in December pled guilty to selling several million dollars’ worth of stolen property through his eBay store and shipping the goods across state lines was sentenced Monday in federal court to seven years in prison.
The case dated back to March 2010 when a Cherokee County resident reported credit cards had been established without their consent.
Robert A. Hill, 51, was arrested in 2011 following a lengthy investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Intelligence Unit.
The multi-year identity theft ring resulted in roughly $9 million in losses to victims across the U.S., including possibly 11 people in Cherokee County, authorities said.
“This case demonstrates the ever-increasing need for law abiding citizens to remain vigilant about their personal identifying information and credit profiles,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison. “The ongoing increase of identity related crimes is concerning and troubling both to the economy and the criminal justice system. The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office is proud to see justice on behalf of the many victims in this case.”
Hill fueled his Internet-based fraud with the help of a group of identity thieves who gave him a steady supply of merchandise, said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
During the course of the scheme, Hill sold millions of dollars’ worth of stolen merchandise through his eBay store, she said. Search warrants executed at his residence and storage facility uncovered more than $44,000 in cash and a large quantity of high-value electronic equipment in boxes ready for sale.
Hill, who now lives in Swainsboro, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story to serve seven years, three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $740,446.58.
In a parallel civil action, Judge Amy Totenberg also ordered the forfeiture of more than $44,000 in cash, two bank accounts with more than $47,000, a 1999 Lexus RS 300, and thousands of dollars’ worth of electronics equipment and jewelry.
The case was investigated by special agents of the U.S. Secret Service and investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen H. McClain and Jeffrey Viscomi prosecuted the case, the release said.