SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -The Spokane County Sheriff's Office, with help of victims, successfully arrested a 40-year-old man behind an internet scam involving the sale of classic cars.
On Oct. 4, Investigative Task Force Detectives arrested Samuel Richardson for second-degree theft with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Service & Newport Police.
The SCSO says Richardson was conducting an internet scam where he posed as a classic car buyer and contacted sellers. After obtaining information and taking pictures of the cars, he would fraudulently post his own ads with the vehicles while claiming to be the seller.
Richardson conducted this scam multiple times, doing so when he posed as a man named "Eric" in regards to a 1965 Ford Mustang on sale for $10,000 on Craigslist. After telling the victim he wanted to buy the car, Richardson then posted fraudulent ads with pictures of the car, including one on eBay which one caller mentioned to the victim.
A victim from the Netherlands was contacted after he had purchased the noted 1965 Mustang from an eBay seller for $3,000. Detectives used the eBay seller information and bank account the money was wired to in order to backtrack the transaction. Deputies contacted the bank's fraud department along with multiple other victims from Richardson's scam.
Detectives learned Richardson duped one victim into allowing Richardson to receive wire transfers for money through the victim’s bank account which were traced back to the victim from the Netherlands. Detectives also found Richardson had several warrants for his arrest issued in other states, including one from Montana which allowed for Richardson’s extradition and arrest.
On Oct. 4, one of the victims set up a meeting with Richardson at the victim’s bank in Newport. With the assistance of the Newport Police Department, Investigators arrested Richardson when he arrived for the meeting.
Richardson was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail. Multiple additional charges (Theft and Money Laundering) have since been added in connection to additional Spokane PD, Cheney PD and SCSO cases.
This investigation is still active and Investigators anticipate additional victims of Richardson’s scams will be identified and additional search warrants will be requested, potentially leading to additional charges being filed.