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Callaway man gets 12 years in prison, must pay restitution for online scams
Jeffrey Lynn Overstreet, 46, was convicted of obtaining money by false pretenses, not filing tax returns, and other charges.
Jeffrey Lynn Overstreet
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A Callaway mechanic convicted of running online sales scams that may have netted him tens of thousands of dollars will spend 12 years in prison, a judge has ruled.
Jeffrey Lynn Overstreet, 46, was sentenced Tuesday in Franklin County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors argued at Overstreet’s trial in January that between 2008 and 2012, he accepted money via eBay and Craigslist for vintage car parts and vehicles he never shipped — including an $850 upholstery package for a 1965 Buick Skylark and a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle they said he sold twice to different buyers, neither of whom was able to take possession of the vehicle.
During the trial, an insurance investigator testified that Overstreet admitted he’d never filed a tax return. Other investigators testified that in 2009, Overstreet deposited $55,000 in his bank account, and they said he drew nearly $60,000 through PayPal accounts from 2008 to 2011.
Jurors ultimately found Overstreet guilty of a dozen counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, as well as four counts of not filing tax returns, three counts of operating an unregistered business and a single count of money laundering.
They recommended he serve 18 years behind bars.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Judge William Alexander took that recommendation but suspended six years of the sentence.
He also fined Overstreet $137,000 but suspended $100,000 of that because otherwise, he told Overstreet, “You will not live long enough to pay it.”
Alexander also ordered him to pay $28,000 in restitution within five years of his release, setting the stipulation that if Overstreet fails to meet that obligation, he’ll be made liable for the entire $137,000 fine.
Defense attorney Melvin Hill immediately filed a notice of appeal and a motion for bond, which was granted, and Overstreet was due Tuesday afternoon to be released on $100,000 bond.
Hill also introduced evidence at the sentencing that showed Overstreet had once served as an active paid drug informant for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office after he was convicted of selling marijuana in 1993.
His supervisor at that time, Patrick Martin, testified that across four years, Overstreet made more than 100 hand-to-hand drug buys in his capacity as an informant, and Martin said he ultimately retired Overstreet “for his safety.”
“We’re not suggesting Mr. Overstreet get a ‘get out of jail free’ card,” Hill told Alexander, but said, “he ought to get some kind of consideration for the work that he’s done.”
The judge acknowledged Overstreet’s police support but said it wasn’t enough to sway his decision on the sentence, particularly as he’d been paid for his information.
In response to testimony that Overstreet’s parents and grandchildren rely on his support, Alexander was even more blunt.
“It’s a shame your family has to suffer for what you’ve done,” he said. “They are going to suffer as a result of your actions.
“You’ve done this.”
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