Man gets prison in $1.4 million scheme to defraud Staples

(File: WNEM)

BOSTON (AP) — A Georgia man who schemed to defraud Massachusetts-based Staples Inc. out of more than $1.4 million is headed to prison.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 46-year-old John Douglas, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced Wednesday in Boston to two and a half years behind bars and ordered to pay almost $692,000 in restitution.

Investigators say Douglas and a co-conspirator created more than 1,100 Staples rewards accounts, often using fictitious information. Douglas used a computer script to query a Staples website and seek unclaimed customer loyalty rewards for purchases he didn’t make.

Prosecutors say Douglas and his co-conspirator used the rewards to buy merchandise at Staples retail locations throughout the United States and sold much of the merchandise on eBay.

Douglas pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in January.

Staples is based in Framingham.

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