Andrew Chiu and Allen Chiu both pleaded guilty last week to wire fraud. The U.S. Attorneys office had alleged they were involved in a scheme to defraud the popular department store Nordstrom of $1.4 million through commission fees and rebates.
The brothers were initially barred from making purchases at Nordstrom because they made too many claims for refunds on products that they claimed were not delivered. However, both men continued to shop at the site through FatWallet.com. They earned cash-back rewards for their purchases by exploiting a weakness in the Nordstrom ordering system.
The U.S. Attorneys office seized $970,000 from their bank accounts, which will be handed over as restitution payments to Nordstrom. The prosecutors are recommending a sentence of no more than 30 months in prison, but the judge can impose any sentence that is fitting. The maximum punishment for these charges is up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.