According to the attorney general’s office in New York yesterday, an ebay merchant that was selling jewellery has agreed to pay $400000 in restitution and penalties following claims that they were bidding their own auctions up by as much as 20%.
It is claimed that over a period of around one year, Ezra Dweck and employees of his EMH group, purposefully engaged in shill bidding on over two hundred thousand of their eBay auctions. It is estimated that this action drove final selling prices up by around $5m dollars.
Dweck’s representative claimed that EMH settled purely to avoid a costly legal battle. The terms of this agreement prohibit Dweck or EMH from using online auctions for a period of four years.
An eBay spokeswoman, Nicola Sharpe, said “We do not tolerate criminal activity and proactively assist law enforcement to prosecute any individual who may try to defraud our users”.
This story comes at a time when eBay are actively seeking to promote fairer and more transparent auctions in order to promote consumer confidence.