In a recent news story, the owner of a New York-based online clothing retail store was arrested and charged with wire fraud. The individual allegedly overcharged customers by more than $5 million. Authorities claim the owner charged on-file credit card customers multiple times for things they didn’t purchase.

It is alleged that between June and December 2008, the company charged customers more than 70,000 for unordered products. The owner says the charges were made to customers that enrolled in a frequent shopper club. Authorities claim the cards were charged multiple times over several weeks at prices ranging from $59.99 to $79.99.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed its own civil complaint against the owner in 2009. In January 2011, the FTC made a deal with the man, banning him from owning an Internet business that handles credit or debit accounts. He is also ordered to pay $2.1 million. Before the settlement, the business owner filed for bankruptcy.

The man’s alleged fraudulent business practices have led him to face public accusations and serious charges. With a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud, it will be very important for the business owner to form a solid defense. Anyone in a situation where felony charges are filed against their business practices should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney in New York to learn about their rights and options as it pertains to the laws surrounding a criminal investigation. An experienced attorney can protect their client’s rights and work to resolve the situation with the best possible outcome.

Source: PC World, “Internet Clothing Seller Charged With Wire Fraud,” Grant Gross, Sept. 3, 2011