Long Island Online Merchant Guilty of Defrauding Customers

A 40-year-old Lawrence man who owned a now-defunct website that sold discounted clothes was convicted Friday of defrauding thousands of customers of more than $5 million in erroneous credit card charges.

The two-week trial at U.S. District Court in Central Islip ended with a jury convicting Daniel Greenberg on eight counts of wire fraud, one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counts of money laundering.

Prosecutors said that between June 2008 and at least April 2009, Greenberg charged victims’ credit or debit cards more than 60,000 times without their authorization. Greenberg, according to prosecutors, retained account information from previous purchases through Classic Closeouts and fraudulently charged credit and debit cards, sometimes charging the same card multiple times.

When customers disputed the charges, Greenberg argued that the charges were legitimate because customers had enrolled in a “frequent shopper club” that required a one-time charge, prosecutors said. Some victims’ complaints fell on deaf ears and banks refused to issue credits.

“When his business ran into trouble, Greenberg helped himself to his customers’ credit card numbers and then had the audacity to fight them when they tried to have the charges removed,” said United States Attorney For the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch.

“We will tirelessly pursue justice for consumers who trust online merchants only to have that trust betrayed,” she added.

Greenberg faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the eight counts of wire fraud, 15 years for access device fraud and up to 10 years for money laundering.