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Oregon man charged with stealing, selling Provo company’s products on Amazon

Oregon man charged with stealing, selling Provo company’s products on Amazon

(Mark Lennihan, AP Photo, File)

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — An Oregon man who worked remotely for a Provo company allegedly stole more than 1,000 of its products and sold them on Amazon.

A federal indictment charges Dustin Erhardt, 33 of Beaverton, Oregon, with five counts of wire fraud in connection with the theft. Authorities there arrested him Wednesday.

Provo-based Dark Energy hired Erhardt in March 2017 to do marketing for the company as well as manage its Amazon seller account. He worked from Oregon and never met the owner of the company in person, according to the indictment.

Dark Energy makes military grade products, including one called the Poseidon, a waterproof and crushproof portable charger, which retails for $99.99.

Erhardt allegedly used confidential information without authorization, including the login to Dark Energy’s warehouse, to ship the chargers to himself or to Amazon fulfillment centers for sale from his own Amazon account. He stole at least 1,102 chargers over a five-month period in 2017, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that when the company discovered unauthorized sellers on Amazon who had somehow acquired the Poseidon chargers, Erhardt offered to find out who they were in an effort to hide his theft.

When Erhardt was laid off in December 2017, Dark Energy was still unaware he was the unauthorized Amazon seller and that he continued to sell the chargers, the indictment says. An investigation eventually led authorities to Erhardt.

Erhardt is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City next Thursday.

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Dennis Romboy
Dennis Romboy is an editor and reporter for the Deseret News. He has covered a variety of beats over the years, including state and local government, social issues and courts. A Utah native, Romboy earned a degree in journalism from the University of Utah. He enjoys cycling, snowboarding and running.


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