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Two Central Coast men among ten indicted in connection with online refund fraud scheme

U.S. Department of Justice for the Northern District of Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. – Ten men were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the Northern District of Oklahoma in an unsealed indictment released in early November of this year.

Among those ten men, were a 24-year-old Goleta resident and a 25-year-old Santa Maria man, detail the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice explains that each of the men indicted faces up to 20 years in prison for their crimes.

“The individuals named in today’s indictment all had an alleged role in an international conspiracy to cheat the online retail system and profit at the expense of American businesses,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “These charges illustrate the FBI’s dedication and ongoing efforts with our partners across the globe to combat fraud in its many forms.”

According to the Department of Justice, from April of 2019 to October 19 of this year, the Artemis Refund Group (ARG) used a variety of refund fraud schemes that the group heavily advertised on online messaging forums.

Hundreds of customers were defrauded and some of those fraudulent returns were sent to the Northern District of Oklahoma were the indictment was brought explain the Department of Justice.

In a common version of the scheme, customers were directed to purchase an item of their choosing from targeted retailers, ARG then collected information about the purchase and initiated a fraudulent refund transaction tailored to exploit the retailers refund process detail the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice detail that after the refund was issued, the fraud customer retained the items and received around 15-20% of the refunded price while ARG pocketed the remainder and occasionally the members of ARG would resell the illegally obtained items on the resellers market online.

“The indictment of the members of the Artemis Refund Group shows that cybercriminals cannot hide behind the anonymity of the internet,” said U.S. Attorney Clinton J. Johnson. “Thanks to efforts of the FBI and the prosecutors of my office, the ARG conspirators will now face justice in the Northern District of Oklahoma. We will continue to work with victim companies and our partners here and abroad to ensure cybercriminals cannot misuse the internet for illicit gain.”

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts
conspiracy to commit wire fraud
crime and courts
Northern District of Oklahoma
Santa Barbara
U. S. Department of Justice

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Andrew Gillies

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