An Erie businessman has been charged by the federal government with
fraudulently selling to customers $379,210 worth of junk or salvaged
electronics that he claimed were used goods in working condition.
Jeffrey S. Kodba faces three counts of wire fraud, according to
paperwork filed in U.S. District Court in Erie. Each charge carries a
maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The charges were filed via a document called a criminal information.
Kodba waived his right to a criminal indictment, a move that typically
signals a plea deal has been reached.
U.S. Attorney David Hickton said the crimes occurred between April
2006 and June 2011 in Erie while Kodba was the president and owner of
JSK Computer Service, which was renamed Asset Recovery in 2009.
The government claims Kodba operated websites, JSKcomputerservices.com
and asset-recovery.com, through which customers could purchase in bulk
used electronic equipment, including computers, computer monitors and
Kodba's businesses described the equipment as in working order. They
said it was untested or off-lease equipment, or equipment obtained after
a lease had expired, the government said.
Once Kodba received an order, however, he would fill the order,
sometimes incompletely, with broken, junk or scrap equipment he bought
from another vendor at a lower price, according to the charges.
Kodba required customers to wire full payment for the purchase before it was shipped, the government said.
If a customer sought a refund or tried to refuse delivery of the
defective equipment, Kodba refused to refund the purchase price or
replace the equipment, it said.
The scheme cost Kodba's customers $379,210, the government said.