BY COLIN ADWENT
Saturday, February 23, 2013
AN eBay trader who fiddled internet postage labels for the goods she was despatching must pay £1,800 compensation to the Royal Mail.
Samantha Keen, of Oldfield Road, Ipswich, admitted two charges of fraud by false representation when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.
The first offence occurred between August 1, 2011, and October 22, 2012. The court heard it was impossible to quantify the loss over that period.
The second offence occurred between October 21, 2012, and October 27, 2012, and involved a total fraud of £1,840.17.
Prosecutor David Stewart said Keen prepaid for a label online, but printed out several other labels for the same cost, thereby committing fraud.
Mr Stewart said during October 2011 the Royal Mail centre in Ipswich noticed duplicate stamps on different packages which were being sent. This led back to Keen’s internet business involving selling dried milk to places such as China.
The 38-year-old was arrested and made full admissions during an interview, the court heard. She also expressed remorse.
Helen Korfanty, representing Keen, said the mother-of-four was in need of money. Originally Keen, who is pregnant with her fifth child, did not realise how expensive the postage would be, so she decided to take advantage of the situation.
Keen has now had to compensate her customers who paid her, but have been left without milk.
District Judge Celia Dawson told Keen: “It was a way of subsidising your business by quite a lot. In my estimation it was considerably more than £1,800.”
Keen was given a two-year conditional discharge, but ordered to pay compensation to Royal Mail and £750 prosecution costs. She was also told to pay £15 to the victims’ fund.