Local Nabbed In Internet Watch Scam
A Far Rockaway man who bills himself as a watch enthusiast has been charged with defrauding a California man out of $100,000 by offering a nonexistent Patek Philippe watch for sale on an Internet website that caters to watch collectors.
District Attorney Richard Brown has identified the defendant as Johnathan C. Jackson, 23, of 31-12 Lewmay Road.
Jackson was arraigned on Tuesday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge William Harrington on charges of second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property and firstdegree scheme to defraud. District Attorney Brown said, "While online shopping offers a certain ease and convenience over traditional store shopping, consumers should always be cautious and remember the old adage, 'buyer beware,' because shopping online, sight unseen, can potentially pose a big risk."
Brown said that, according to the charges, Jackson used a wireless connection to gain the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a neighbor and set up an account under the name Jonathan Miller.
Thereafter, it is alleged, the defendant was in contact with a Mr. Oscar Ho, of California, regarding the sale by "Miller" and the purchase by Mr. Ho of a Patek Philippe Model 5970G watch for $100,000. After a series of negotiations, Mr. Ho allegedly sent $100,000 by wire transfer to a Bank of America account belonging to the defendant Jackson.
Despite repeated requests, it is alleged that Mr. Ho never received the watch.
At the time of his arrest, Jackson allegedly made statements to the police that he neither had the watch nor had he sent the watch and that he had used the money taken for investment purposes.
Jackson, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on September 8, 2009.