scammers get up to 32 months in prison

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A court in Haarlem sentenced Remy D. to 32 months in prison, of which a year is conditional, for internet fraud and money laundering through, Parool reports. Prosecutors were pushing for a five-year sentence, but the court sees more benefit in also treating D. through a mandatory rehabilitation program.

Remy D. and his four companions, each of whom received one-year prison terms, scammed hundreds of people using Dutch classified ad website The five are accused of taking money for smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, but not delivering the products. The financial loss per order was usually modest, but internet trade suffered "substantial reputation damage", the court states.

The court estimated that his gang's criminal exploits grossed a quarter of a million euros from 2,200 victims. D. was ordered to repay almost 300 victims who filed a claim. The average amount of an order in the scam was 150 euros.

Due to the changing bank accounts and account holder names, the culprits were difficult to detect.

Online marketplace Marktplaats launched in 1999, and was bought by Ebay five years later.