A Brisbane man who ripped off three people using internet auction site eBay has been sentenced to jail.
Rory James Kleidon pleaded guilty in the District Court this morning to a single fraud charge after holding a dud auction for a gold nugget on the site in June last year.
The court heard the 24 year-old mechanic's assistant used his girlfriend's account to post an ad for the precious metal, which attracted a $4025 bid on June 13.
The money was paid into Kleidon's girlfriend's bank account but he failed to hand over the nugget as promised.
After realizing he'd been stung, his victim, a Sydney man, posted negative feedback against Kleidon - a system used to warn other bidders of shonky eBay users - but not before another man, this time from Western Australia, paid $1800 for the gold.
The following day, a third victim was lured, depositing $2000 into Kleidon's online account from his home in Bowen, in Queensland's north.
The scam was up, however, when one of the men complained to police who easily traced Kleidon through his girlfriend's eBay registration details.
He was arrested at his Bracken Ridge home soon after.
The court heard he had blown the money - $8025 - on a car.
Crown prosecutors sought jail for Kleidon, who they argued had breached eBay's trust-based trading system.
However, Kleidon's defense barrister James Godbolt, described the dummy sale as an act of "rank stupidity" by his client, who was never going to pull it off.
"Clearly the use of the internet means the people engaging are vulnerable," Mr Godbolt said.
"But that being said, there's no real sophistication to this scam.
"His detection was inevitable."
So was prison, according to Judge Helen O'Sullivan, who sentenced Kleidon to six months behind bars.
However, she agreed to wholly suspend the term after it was revealed the young high school drop-out had been in financial trouble at the time and was suffering from depression.
Kleidon will be forced to repay each of his victims as a condition of his punishment.