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Oklahoma man hacked government auction site to buy cars for a buck

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An Oklahoma man used his computer skills to defraud Uncle Sam, hacking into a government auction site to lower the price of vehicles and jewelry he’d successfully bid on from thousands of dollars down to one buck, federal prosecutors said.

Evan James Coker, 41, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a scheme involving online auctions run by the General Service Administration to see off surplus, seized or forfeited assets held by the government, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota. 

The auctions are conducted online through servers in Eagan, Minnesota, noted U.S. States Attorney Andrew Luger.

Between Feb. 25 and March 6, 2019, Coker bid in multiple auctions for vehicles and jewelry on the GSA site. Once his offers were accepted, Coker breached the pay.gov site and changed the price of each of the items to a buck, the prosecutor said in a news release.

All told, Coker bid on and won 19 auction items, fraudulently paying only $1 for each, including a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid for which he bid $8,327; a Ford F550 pickup truck that he bid $9,000 for and a Chevrolet C4500 Box Truck, for which Coker had signed up to pay $22,700. 

Coker pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. District Court before Judge Michael Davis to one count of wire fraud, with his sentencing hearing to be scheduled at a later date. 

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