Stephen McIntyre called himself the ‘Tampa Gift Card King’ and after $10 million in volume faces five years and three months behind bars for “conspiracy to commit money laundering.” The gift card reseller reportedly violated Florida law in at least four ways:
- He failed to register as a secondhand dealer
- He didn’t wait 15 days between buying and reselling secondhand goods
- He failed to enter transactions in the Business Watch International database which he’d have been required to do
- Knowingly accepting and reselling stolen gift cards
In addition he appears to have had a scam where he’d sell gift cards at raise.com or cardcash.com and provide only the card number and PIN. He’d retain those for himself. And then he’d wait until gift cards were partially used. Then he’d drain their balances, combine them, and use the funds to buy new gift cards to sell.
It seems to me that the only thing he did that’s really problematic in the bulleted list (as opposed to technically illegal) is accepting stolen cards (if true) and stealing residual balances off of gift cards he sold. All the rest are regulatory infractions, where the specific rules vary by state. I didn’t even know that Florida required 15 days between buying and selling used items. Perhaps he’d have learned of this requirement if he had properly registered, but he wasn’t eligible to do so because of a prior criminal conviction.
(HT: Robert G.)