A recent FBI investigation has found that Amazon contract drivers were in cahoots to commit thefts with pawnshop type operations in suburban Seattle that used “Amazon Fulfillment Centers” to resell stolen goods worth over ten million dollars in suspect sales since 2013. The shady underbelly of late stage capitalism and online e-commerce is revealed in a recently unsealed search warrant affidavit for a non descript storage space outside Seattle.
In one example of how the anonymity of online transactions shield unscrupulous dealings, Gov’t evidence points to 44-year-old Ukrainian immigrant Aleksandr Pavlovskiy of Auburn, Wa as one scheme’s mastermind.
Pavlovskiy , who became a naturalized US citizen in 2011, began his Kent WA Pawn operation in 2012, and had a network of goods suppliers including lowly shoplifters, pill heads and Amazon delivery drivers who’d bring him stolen good from Amazon customers as well as regional big box retailers. The items would then be sold online under Amazon’s popular “Third Party Sellers” program through official “Amazon Fulfillment Centers”. Through just two suspect “pawn shops” operated by Pavlovskiy in suburban Seattle, over $4.1 million in quick cash was paid out to people who brought in nearly 48,000 items to be resold over the past six years.
According to investigators, Pavlovskiy used handles such as “Bestforyouall” or “Freeshipforyou,” and sold millions of dollars worth of products via Amazon Fulfillment drop shipping that ranged from shoplifted allergy and pain medication from Walgreen’s, to name brand razors, and previously undelivered power tools, video games and other egregiously obtained electronics, all listed as “new” in their original packaging to buyers using the Amazon website. On eBay, since 2017, Pavlovskiy did over 13,000 transactions under the name “InnovationBest”, which he’d gone to the trouble of of applying for a trademark and setting up a Facebook page. He had an Instagram account called hardwarestorex all managed through a gmail account set up under the name “bestlessbestless” that also linked to a Facebook page under that name as well whose 900+ person “friend” list is populated almost entirely by offshore accounts registered in Africa, and Indonesia.
Detectives staked out the pawn shops, Innovation Best in Kent and Thrift-Electro in Renton, and observed that they appeared to be paying shoplifters and drug users cash for new items from Home Depot, Lowes and Fred Meyer department stores. Unlike typical pawn shops, they didn’t make sales; instead, the products were moved to a warehouse and to Amazon “fulfillment centers,” from where they were shipped when they were sold on Amazon’s website by sellers using the handles “Bestforyouall” or “Freeshipforyou,” the affidavit said. –APGENE JOHNSON Associated Press
One of the suspect contract Amazon delivery drivers supplying stolen goods, Abbas Zghair, is already under arrest for an “unrelated” murder, and is suspected of absconding with $100,000 worth of Amazon customer ordered video gaming gear, sporting goods and computer products — items he sold to Pavlovskiy for less than $20,000.
According to the King County Prosecutor, Abbas Zghair shot 31-year-old Silvano Ruiz Perez of Kent in late March and left him to die in a field at the site of the former Auburn Valley 6 Drive-In movie theaters. The Auburn Reporter will not release the names of any of the other members of the alleged conspiracy until the federal government formally charges them.Robert Whale – Auburn Reporter News
The investigation came to light when a local police detective noticed an Amazon driver with nearly $30,000 recent transactions recorded via Pavlovskiy’s pawn/fencing operation
Related : How To Protect Yourself From Unscrupulous Amazon Sellers
Read more from Associated Press on the Washington Amazon scam investigation at the link below here :