Florida woman accused of scamming Amazon for $165,000

Suspect reimbursed for 42,000 returns, deputies say

Hoai Tibma (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

TAMPA, Fla. – A 32-year-old Florida woman is accused of receiving $165,000 in reimbursements from Amazon for shipping costs that she never paid, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Hoai Tibma took advantage of a loophole in Amazon's policies by making it appear she had paid to return packages. Instead she was using old prepaid labels from the company.

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She's accused of second-degree grand theft and was arrested Oct. 23, an arrest affidavit said.

Between March 2015 and August, she was reimbursed $3.99 each for about 42,000 returns, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Sheriff's officials said she used 31 Amazon accounts, all linked to an address in a Tampa suburb. Eleven of the accounts had been suspended by Oct. 21, the date the affidavit was filed, the agency said.

According to the affidavit, Amazon could only produce pictures and documentation for around 5,000 labels dating to early 2020, the affidavit said. That was a loss of $20,273.

The sheriff's economic crimes unit conducted the investigation. Amazon also conducted it's own investigation.

Tibma faces up to to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

She was released from jail on a $7,500 bond. Court records didn’t list a lawyer for her, and a phone number was not available.

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