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Court orders eBay 'shill bid' man to pay £5k

A County Durham man has been ordered to pay £5,000 in fines and costs after a court found he had bid on his own eBay auctions to artificially boost prices.According to a Monday report on BBC News, Paul Barrett "admitted 11 breaches of fair trading regulations and was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work", but escaped jail as he had no previous convictions.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

A County Durham man has been ordered to pay £5,000 in fines and costs after a court found he had bid on his own eBay auctions to artificially boost prices.

According to a Monday report on BBC News, Paul Barrett "admitted 11 breaches of fair trading regulations and was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work", but escaped jail as he had no previous convictions.

Barrett's was the first 'shill bidding' case in the UK, as the relevant internet fraud legislation only came about in 2008. In auctions for "two Mercedes vehicles, a pie and pasty warmer, a cash register, a refrigerated display counter, three mobile phones, and a digital camera", Barrett had listed the items under one account, then bid from another.

According to the BBC, he went so far as to leave positive feedback on items that he had both listed and won, including the line: "Thanks very much. Item is great."

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