Matthew J. Kuc, 32, North Attleboro, MA, seems to have had an idea - something to do with ripping off a number of computer companies such as Dell, 3Com, Lenovo, and Hewlett Packard through a number of aliases and replacement parts warranties and . . . well, trust me, it was one hell of a concept. Of course, these days, Dell and Hewlett Packard hardly need more trouble, but, hey, wattaya gonna do, right? There are all sorts of characters and con artists out there.
Apparently, from June 1, 2005, through December 14, 2010, Kuc attempted to persuade the targeted computer companies that he had defective computer equipment covered under replacement warranty. I would have thought that under the terms of the applicable warranties, Kuc would have needed to return the faulty parts in order to qualify for the replacements. Apparently, I'm wrong.
The thing is, as far as this one-man crime wave goes, Kuc didn't actually own any defective computer equipment, or at least not to the extent of the parts with which he was bombarding the manufacturers for replacement coverage. What Kuc did have was information: the names of folks who had computer equipment (which was not defective) and the serial number for the otherwise working equipment.
At this point, the facts somewhat escape me because it appears that Kuc didn't actually return the non-defective defective computer equipment for which he had serial numbers but didn't actually own. Mull that over for a second, okay?
Instead of returning the purportedly broken parts, Kuc employed a number of addresses and aliases (including that of a former girlfriend) in order to avoid detection while ordering large numbers of warranty parts. And avoid detection and do an end run around his victim's replacement policies and protocols Kuc did. At some point, the patter became so pat that Kuc used scripts that he read from or copied into electronic chats with the computer companies. This five-year scam apparently netted Kuc some $1.7 million, estimated to go as high as $3.6 million.
Why the hell did Kuc go through all of this subterfuge? Apparently, he maintained an eBay store where he sold the fraudulently obtained equipment.
Crash And Burn
On December 14, 2010, federal law enforcement officers searching Kuc's residence found over 150 boxes of computer equipment addressed to Kuc and/or his aliases. That same day, Kuc was charged in a criminal Complaint with wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, and possession and sale of stolen property in interstate commerce. If convicted , he faced up to 20 years of imprisonment on the wire fraud charge and 10 years of imprisonment on each of the stolen property charges. Further, on each charge, Kuc faced a three-year term of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.
On January 19, 2011, Kuc was indicted on five counts of wire fraud and one count of the receipt, possession, and storage of stolen property in interstate commerce.
NOTE: Other sources suggest that the Indictmentcontained four counts of wire fraud, one count of receipt/possession/storage of stolen property; and one count of aggravated identity theft.
On June 28, 2012, Kuc was convicted by a jury of:
Kuc faced up to 32 years in prison, three years of supervised release, forfeiture, restitution, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.
On December 3, 2012, Kuc was sentenced to eight years in prison, three years of supervised release, forfeiture, and over $1.9 million restitution.