Lexington: An Ohio man convicted Tuesday for fraudulently obtaining money from an office supply store is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Jan. 24, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Stephen A. Esway, 36, of Canton, Ohio, was convicted on a wire fraud charge after a two-day trial.
Federal prosecutors said Esway bought about $65,000 in merchandise from Staples stores in 17 states from 2001 to 2008. But Esway received credit card refunds totaling more than $307,000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
In Kentucky, Esway bought merchandise from stores in Kenton and Boone counties. The attorney's office said Esway got receipts for full version software, duplicated the receipts, then bought less-expensive educational versions of the same software. He applied the Universal Product Code from the full version to the educational version and resealed the box. When Esway returned with the receipt for the original product, cashiers scanned the altered UPC on the box, which appeared to match the product.
Esway faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.