PORTAGE, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Michigan man is accused of stealing rental textbooks from Amazon for years so he could sell them.
Mark Hays Talsma, 36, of Portage, is charged with mail and wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, aggravated identity theft, and making false statements to the FBI in connection with the alleged scheme that began in January 2016 and continued until March 2021.
According to federal authorities, Talsma allegedly rented thousands of textbooks with no intention of returning them. He's accused of selling the books to local textbook businesses and through the internet.
He also allegedly would tell Amazon he didn't receive books or received products he could not return to he could get credits on his account.
Authorities said he pulled off the scheme by creating new Amazon accounts and using different data to avoid being caught.
If convicted, Talsma faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for each of the mail and wire fraud offenses; a maximum sentence of 10 years for interstate transportation of stolen property; and a maximum sentence of five years for making false statements to the FBI. Additionally, if he is convicted of the aggravated identity theft charges, he will serve a maximum sentence of four years consecutive to any other sentence he may receive.
In addition to Talsma, the indictment also named Gregory Mark Gleesing, 43, and Lovedeep Singh Dhanoa, 25, both of Portage, and Paul Steven Larson, 32, of Kalamazoo.