Craigslist Wire Fraud Scheme Busted

A man in St. Clair County Alabama pled guilty last week to mail fraud. The man defrauded ticket buyers of over $14,000 between December 2010 and November 2011 according to court documents.

Christopher Burns was charged with promising to provide tickets to college football games through Craigslist to people in 21 states. Burns allegedly never sent the tickets. He quickly confessed to the charges in order to receive a reduced sentence last week.

Burn’s plea agreement requires him to pay restitution in the case. In exchange for his cooperation prosecutors agreed to make a motion for a reduction of sentence due to his quick admission of guilt.

Police first began investigating the scheme when they were contacted by an Attalla post office employee about two packages. The employee believed the packages were being returned to sender because they had non-deliverable addresses and assumed they were likely involved in a fraud scheme as a result.

In another incident a victim called the post office about the delivery of a package, which was tracked via a postal service website. The man gave the postal employee permission to open the package to see if the tickets were inside. The postal employee discovered only blank sheets of paper.

A few days after these incidents other victims also came forward about not receiving tickets they had paid for, instead receiving “Let’s Keep the Mail Safe” brochures.

On November 22 law enforcement searched Burn’s home. Shortly after his indictment Burns admitted he had never intended to send the tickets to the victims even though victims wired him money.

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