More charges in Internet fraud

  By Abby Morris
  star staff
  amorris@starhq.com
  A Valley Forge woman who was arrested just under two weeks ago and charged with five counts of theft after she allegedly defrauded users of an Internet auction sight is now being sought by police on five additional theft charges as well as a capias charging her with failure to appear in court.
  Gina Lee Ramirez, 38, 209 Nanny Goat Hill Rd., was arrested on Aug. 9 by Carter County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Audrey Covington and charged with three counts of theft of property over $500 and two counts of theft of property under $500. Covington has since received additional information on the case and has obtained warrants to charge Ramirez with five additional counts of theft.
  "PayPal has now provided additional information and victims," Covington states in a press release. "PayPal advised the victims bought clothing from the defendant and never received the items after payment was sent."
  The five new victims reported they had purchased the clothing for different amounts on the Internet auction site eBay. One victim paid more than $500 for the clothing, while the other four victims paid amounts ranging from $73.50 to $325.25.
  Ramirez is now facing an additional count of theft over $500 and four additional counts of theft under $500. This brings the total number of charges against Ramirez in the investigation to four counts of theft over $500 and six counts of theft under $500.
  According to police reports, the investigation into Ramirez began on July 30 when a female subject reported to the Sheriff's Department that she had filed an online complaint form with eBay. "She stated in the report that she had bid on children's clothing on eBay and paid (Ramirez) $330.70 for the item. However, (the victim) never received the item," Covington states in her report. "(The victim's) personal check was cashed by (Ramirez) on June 14, 2004 at Elizabethton Savings Bank."
  While speaking with investigators, the victim provided Covington the names of other possible victims who had been defrauded by Ramirez through the Internet. Each of the four additional victims reported they had bid on-line for children's clothing and after being notified that they had won the auction, paid Ramirez for the clothing but never received it.
  "I then spoke with (Ramirez). She advised that she had reimbursed each victim," states Covington in her report. "However, I contacted PayPal, a form of online Internet payment, and they advised that they had reimbursed the victims an that the defendant was negative $5,063.46 (in her account)."