Thursday, November 23, 2006

Coin Dealer Gets 5-Year Prison Sentence for eBay fraud

Associated Press
Tue, Nov. 21, 2006

MIAMI - A former attorney and rare coin dealer was sentenced Tuesday to more than five years in prison after admitting he defrauded more than $1 million from more than 100 people who bought collectibles from him on the eBay online auction site.

Martin Eugene Haber, 59, was sentenced to 63 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Donald Graham after pleading guilty in June to six counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. Graham will hold another hearing Jan. 4 to determine restitution for 100 victims of Haber's fraud.

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said 188 complaints were received from May 2001 to January 2005 from buyers who did not receive coins they purchased on eBay from Haber. Haber, who has resigned from the Florida Bar, was twice arrested locally but continued to sell items under other names.

In a letter to Graham, Haber said that he got deeply into debt and was taking prescription drugs to combat depression when he began committing the crimes. He apologized to the victims and promised to repay them if possible

Even though I did not intend the harm, I caused the harm and I am sorry for that," Haber said in the letter. "I was in a spiral that I didn't know how to control."

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