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By JOSH FLORY, firstname.lastname@example.org
March 30, 2007
A Seymour man today pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud.
In an appearance before U.S. District Judge James Jarvis, Charles Edward Bush admitted to defrauding more than 20 victims out of more than $400,000.
From November 2002 until December 2005, Bush operated a web site that advertised video equipment for sale. According to prosecutors, he accepted money from customers but never sent the products they purchased. In some cases he provided partial refunds, but in other cases he mailed the customers obsolete or less expensive items.
Bush pleaded guilty to only one count, in which Daniele and Aurelie Neveur, of France, paid him $19,657 for a digital video recorder. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Schmutzer, Bush instead sent them a package that included a Betamax VCR and rocks.
Asked by Jarvis if he thought he would get away with the crime, Bush said he takes different medications that affect him, including the anti-depressant Paxil.
“What did you do with all that money?” the judge asked.
“That’s an excellent question,” the defendant replied. “I honestly don’t have any idea.”
Bush’s attorney, Paula Voss, said her client will be held accountable for all of the losses, and will have more money available for that purpose by pleading guilty to one count.
Bush faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.