Shelton man pleads guilty to defrauding Amazon of $742K

The Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building and United States Courthouse on 450 Main St. Oshane Stewart, a 30-year-old Shelton resident, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, after federal prosecutors alleged he defrauded Amazon of more than $740,000 through fake vendor accounts on the site.

The Abraham Ribicoff Federal Building and United States Courthouse on 450 Main St. Oshane Stewart, a 30-year-old Shelton resident, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, after federal prosecutors alleged he defrauded Amazon of more than $740,000 through fake vendor accounts on the site.

Viktoria Sundqvist / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

A Shelton man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wire fraud, after prosecutors say he set up multiple fake vendor accounts on Amazon and claimed goods he had shipped the online retail giant for sale had been lost.

Oshane Stewart, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut said in a statement. 

The office said Stewart admitted his conduct "resulted in a loss to Amazon of approximately $742,231.16."

Stewart is the third individual to plead guilty in the scheme. On Feb. 10, his brother, Kenoy Stewart, pleaded guilty and admitted to causing a loss of more than $1 million for Amazon, the office said. On Aug. 26, Rajhni Yankana pleaded guilty in the scheme. All three now await sentencing. 

Federal authorities said Stewart created a number of third-party vendor accounts on Amazon through which he could have sold merchandise, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. The accounts were typically set up using fake names and contact information. Once the accounts were live, Stewart claimed to Amazon that he was shipping valuable merchandise for sale.

"In reality, he would not ship the merchandise, and would later falsely claim that it had been lost, supporting his false claims with fabricated documents," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. "Amazon sent Stewart a series of refunds for the purportedly lost merchandise."

At his sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 23 of next year, Stewart faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge. He was released on bond ahead of sentencing.