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Coed Clipped eBay Customers

New York- Now she has to face the music.

A Long Island co-ed was busted yesterday for working her way through college allegedly by selling items on eBay that she didn’t own.

Investigators said Alexis Levine, 26, a C.W. Post student from Farmingdale, posted musical instruments, cellphones, computers and theme- park tickets on the In ternet auction site and collected more than $10,000 from buyers in the United States and Canada.

But she never sent them the goods.

“If you’re not going to send the item back, it’s going to be high profit,” said Nassau County prosecutor Stephen Treglia.

A source said Levine used the money to pay her tuition.

Levine was ar raigned in First Dis trict Court in Hemp stead on a charge of first-degree scheme to defraud and released on her own recognizance.

She faces four years in the slammer if convicted. Additional charges may be filed.

Treglia said Levine operated her scheme between last March and last August.

In one case, he said, Levine sold a Dell Inspiron laptop computer to a couple in Marion, La., for $680. The couple never received the computer – nor a refund.

In another case, he said, a Canadian man bought an Armstrong Open Hole flute for $121.75 but never received it.

In addition to the flute and the computer, Levine also “sold” clarinets, violas and tickets to Disney World.

She used several eBay user IDs to conduct business, including jennyrosemusic, italiansteakbeauty, floridababy64 and collectivepawnstuff.

But she had customers send checks or money orders to her home in Farmingdale, enabling detectives to track her down easily.

Levine had no comment after her arraignment except to say, “What are those TV cameras doing here? I don’t want to be on television.”

No one answered the door at her home.

But a neighbor said, “She just seemed like a nice, quiet college girl, but you never know what people are up to. To be honest, I’m surprised. There are other ways to get through college.”

Levine returns to court tomorrow for a further hearing.

As online auctions grow in popularity, more crooks are muscling in, the Federal Trade Commission says.

Complaints about Internet auctions were the fastest-growing category in a report on fraud that the FTC issued on Feb. 1.

The complaints almost doubled to 98,650 last year from 51,000 in 2003, and accounted for 16 percent of all complaints.

The total number of complaints about Internet-related crimes – including fraudulent auctions and scams in which the consumer was contacted via the Internet – was 205,568.

The crimes cost consumers $265 million, the agency said.



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