back to article Reap it in the family: Four brothers accused of cheating Amazon out of $19m in wholesaler fraud caper

Four brothers accused of ripping off Amazon to the tune of $19m were this week charged with fraud. Yoel, Heshl, Zishe, and Shmuel Abraham stand accused [PDF] of a combined six criminal counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering, all as a result of their alleged dealings as a wholesale supplier …

  1. aki009

    End to end WhatsApp encryption?

    Sounds like the end-to-end WhatsApp encryption is real, but with the encryption keys conveniently shared with any third party who cares. Not that it's unexpected, but nice to see it affirmed here.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: End to end WhatsApp encryption?

      More likely they siezed and unlocked the phone.

      1. cb7

        Re: End to end WhatsApp encryption?

        WhatsApps aitpmatic backups are stored unencrypted on eg Google Drive. So your chats can be scrutinised without going anywhere near your phone.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: End to end WhatsApp encryption?

        Or they got one of them to rat out the others in exchange for leniency. I doubt that Whatsapp chats were the only place there was evidence of their guilt, which they could use to get one of them to make all the group chats available to the FBI to save himself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End to end WhatsApp encryption?

      Or, you could just download and install an app from the Play Store that becomes a Device Administrtor to access the WhatsApp database.

      Even recover deleted apps!

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsremoved.plus.business.pro&hl=en_US

      (Never mind about the "rumours" that this developer has ties to the Chinese state)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon screws it's business customers every day

    Whats the harm in a tiny payback

    1. cb7

      Re: Amazon screws it's business customers every day

      "Amazon screws it's business customers every day"

      And other businesses. Global buying power and the resources to undercut the competition til they go bust means they're getting too big and powerful to the ultimate detriment of the consumer.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Amazon screws it's business customers every day

      "Whats the harm in a tiny payback"

      Well, if you use Amazon, you've probably had to pay a little extra so they could handle the costs of the fraudsters' payback. So, in effect, the frauds got some payback but you were the one paying. There's the harm. I figure you already know this, but you felt the need to ask and I felt the need to answer.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolutely disgraceful

    Not even a hint of how they "were able to game the retailer's wholesale system" so we know how not to fall into the same trap.

    1. Anonymous Hero

      Re: Absolutely disgraceful

      > Not even a hint of how they "were able to game the retailer's wholesale system" so we know how not to fall into the same trap.

      From the article:

      "For example, the four promised a load of disinfectant spray that, thanks to some manipulation of the ordering system Amazon uses in its dealings with wholesalers, became a shipment of 7,000 toothbrushes, priced at $94.03 apiece. The brothers asked for, and received, $658,210 for that shipment."

      This'll have been bulk shipments right into Amazon's inventory, and likely comingled. Staffers probably (and uderstandably) don't give a shit and so just throw them into the SKU bins. So you only find out when customers start receiving toothbrushes instead of disinfectant. They probably built up a level of trust with legit trading for a year or so then switched over to "Fuck You Bezos" mode.

      I can kinda see how it'd be done.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't help but wonder if the "Whatsapp bragging" was after the fact, once their phones had been seized or a contributory factor to the cuffs going on in the first place.

    Either way. Illegal. But Jeff.. Meh.

  5. Mister Dubious

    Slow but exceeding fine

    "...using fraudulent invoices from 2017 up until they were arrested and indicted this week."

    Three years? Would have been quicker with Prime ...

  6. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Happy

    Good Luck to Them

    But the article doesn't really say anything about the perpetrators other than their names --- Yoel, Heshl, Zishe, and Shmuel Abraham --- and ages. I would have preferred a little more background

  7. General Purpose

    Hindsight

    According to the indictment, when they realised Amazon was increasing enforcement, the brothers considered alternatives:

    Yoel: "This shit is massed up, looks like will have to build a legit business"

    ...

    Yoel: "Open account under dummy names and they can go look for no one."

    Zishe: "Yup need to do that. . . . The problem the first accounts was under real names."

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    ]According to Uncle Sam's legal eagles in Manhattan, the crew was rather brazen with their activities, talking on WhatsApp about how they would overcharge Amazon and advising one another on the best ways to con the Bezos empire into paying more than it should have for large shipments.]

    I think the word you are looking for is "stupid".

    WharsApp is spyware run by the Antisocial Network after all.

    I am forced to use it due to people I know but every time I use it I feel like if I was being wiretapped by a spy agency.

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