Of all the things you can steal from Amazon, you choose textbooks. Did you know that Amazon rents actual books? Then you choose to steal textbooks over a number of years and do not think you are going to get caught. That is what three men from Portage and one from Kalamazoo Michigan thought and decided to do.
MLive is reporting that the fourth man has pleaded guilty to this textbook fraud case. His name is Geoffrey Mark Talsma and he plead guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan. He has joined his colleagues in this theft Paul Larson, of Kalamazoo; Gregory Gleesing, of Portage; and Lovedeep Singh Dhanoa, of Portage who all plead guilty in January to mail fraud.
How did they do it? They would rent the textbooks then sell them to bookstores as well as online, at least they were following Amazon’s online model. They ran this theft from January of 2016 through March of 2021 and made over $1.5 million over those years. They would pay people to accept the rented school books so as to not have too many books coming to their addresses. They would also create a number of Amazon accounts with fake names and addresses, thus the guilty plea for identity theft.
How much time did they all get; we will find out in the future months?
You may ask are there that many people who read paper books these days, I thought that until I realized they were textbooks. I was then surprised to find that Pew research did a survey and found:
Some 33% of Americans read in these digital formats and also read print books, while 32% say they read only print books. Just 9% of Americans say they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months.