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 Post subject: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:48 am 
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http://medford.patch.com/articles/owner ... m-customer

Wow amazing, I ordered from there for over 20 years. I thought he only ripped people off with shipping. :lol:


"The owner of a magic store in Medford is charged with credit card fraud and making false statements to authorties after he tried to pull off a $500,000 trick on one of his customers, according to court filings.

Harry P. Levy, the owner of Hank Lee's Magic Factory, admitted he made 134 false transactions between 2009 to 2011 on a customer's American Express card totaling $561,927, according to a stipulation of facts signed by Levy and prosecutors. The document was filed in Federal Court in Boston Friday.

The store's website was still operational as of Friday evening.

Levy, a Lexington resident, regularly lied to investigators as they looked into the credit card charges last year, the filing said. He also claimed other people were defrauding the victim, the filing said.

The victim was a Texas man who ordered regularly online from the Magic Factory, typically using his PayPal account, according to a U.S. Attorney press release. But in 2009, he made a transaction with his American Express card by entering his account information in the store's website, according to prosecutors.

One of the victim's assistants spotted the unauthorized charges while reviewing his finances in May 2011, according to court documents. The victim checked his account with the Magic Factory, but only his legitimate purchases appeared, court documents said.

Levy told the victim the unauthorized charges paid for foreign orders and showed him invoices with Vietnam shipping addresses, according to the filing. But those invoices were false.

"In fact, the charges had been made by (Levy) personally," the filing said. "They had not been made in response to foreign orders."

Even the items the victim legitimately ordered with his credit card were never received, according to the filing.

When federal investigators sat down with Levy in September 2011, he blamed the fraud on other people defrauding the victim, and the victim himself, according to the filing.

"(He) didn't look at his American Express bill for more than two years," Levy told investigators. "People were using his cards."

He also claimed he shipped orders submitted by the victim all over the world, prosecutors said. Levy told investigators he continued to take the orders, but eventually stopped shipping them because he "thought something was up," according to the court filing.

Levy was ordered to provide investigators with files related to the charges, but he gave them logs that were "not comprehendable by a human," the filing said, and did not provide any specific information.

Levy also told falsely told investigators he wrote to the victim to tell him someone was using his credit card, prosecutors allege.

After several more interviews and a visit to his store, investigators obtained a search warrant for the Magic Factory and found files that showed Levy falsified invoices, the filing said.

Levy has agreed to plead guilty to credit card fraud and making false statements, and in exchange prosecutors won't charge him with wire fraud or aggravated identity theft, according to a plea agreement. Levy faces a total of up to 20 years in prison on the charges.

Prosecutors will seek a sentence at the "low end of sentencing guidelines," and to have Levy ordered to pay resititution to the victim, according to the plea agreement.

No further court dates for Levy have been set, according to a federal court online docket.

UPDATE: Read the court filings in this case for yourself, here."


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Great way to reward a long-time, loyal, rich customer just fleece him for even more money and hope he never knows it. "Ah heck he can afford it." :lol: REALLY stupid thing to do. I guess greed and gas prices did him in.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:34 pm 
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WOW!!! Crazy when legitimate business owners start getting that desparate. I have bought a few things from Hank Lee's over the years. What a shame. I hate to see people screwing up their own lives:?

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Just a got 75% off CONVICTSALE until Monday only. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:33 pm 
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tedricpancoast wrote:
WOW!!! Crazy when legitimate business owners start getting that desparate. I have bought a few things from Hank Lee's over the years. What a shame. I hate to see people screwing up their own lives:?

Ted


It is "sad" but it is tough to feel sorry for a thief who is only sorry that he got caught. I feel more sorry for the victim, rich or not it does not matter. This was clearly planned. But it is also tough to judge when you don't have access to all the information. Regardless of why he did it, it was still wrong and I will not make excuses and feel bad for someone who is only sorry for getting caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Are you sure it's not just a new, off-the-wall plot for his new handling of Bank Night...


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:55 pm 
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sirbrad wrote:
tedricpancoast wrote:
WOW!!! Crazy when legitimate business owners start getting that desparate. I have bought a few things from Hank Lee's over the years. What a shame. I hate to see people screwing up their own lives:?

Ted


It is "sad" but it is tough to feel sorry for a thief who is only sorry that he got caught. I feel more sorry for the victim, rich or not it does not matter. This was clearly planned. But it is also tough to judge when you don't have access to all the information. Regardless of why he did it, it was still wrong and I will not make excuses and feel bad for someone who is only sorry for getting caught.


I guess the reason that I feel sorry for him is that he couldn't control his greed and now he's totally screwed up his life's work. I'm sure that will be the end of his shop. Obviously I feel sorry for the victim too. Truely there are no winners here (save for maybe Hank Lee's competitors). Hopefully the victim can recover his money.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:53 am 
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Strange blog considering the recent event; http://hankleesmagicfactory.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:53 pm 
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I don't know all the details, (doubt anybody does) but it looks to me like that blog announcement was saying that regardless of his personal troubles, the business lives on.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:36 pm 
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I've ordered from them in the past (last time was about 5 years ago) and still get email updates from them. The other day, I got the below email:

A Special Message From Hank Lee:

Greetings from me, Hank Lee.

I suspect that by now you have read the reports of the government’s charges against me. I have agreed to plead guilty to these charges. Although the charges allege misuse of a customer’s credit card, I am writing to assure you that Hank Lee’s Magic Factory has since adopted procedures to insure the safety and privacy of our customers’ information.

I was wrong in every way, and now I will face the consequences. I could not possibly be more sorry for my behavior.

My actions have deeply impacted my family. And, I know that they have impacted you, our customers and friends. While we have tried to build a base of trust over the last 37 years, it has been seriously damaged, and must now be rebuilt.

If there is a brighter side, Hank Lee’s Magic Factory is not just about me. It is about our long time employees who are here every day and could not be more honest, forthright and knowledgeable. These people can be trusted, 100%. They have been with Hank Lee’s for more than 20 years each and have impeccable records, both in life and in the workplace.

In the past day, I have received many emails and notes. Most are from people hoping that the present situation resolves itself quickly and wishing me the best in this difficult time. Some are from people who do not exactly wish me well. This is to be expected. I appreciate all correspondence.

This is what I can tell you right now. Hank Lee’s Magic Factory is not in danger of closing. We will continue to accept your orders, process them and ship them as always. I hope that you will continue to place orders with the Magic Factory, and allow me to rebuild your trust in us.

Hank


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Ya. Never shopped there. Never will.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:53 pm 
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aces_up_41 wrote:
Ya. Never shopped there. Never will.


They're based in the Boston area, and being from here myself, I always liked to support them. But the last time I ordered from them I got really lousy customer service, and haven't gone back since.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Funny how the Cafe is trying to hide a crook, and deleted multiple threads warning others about this scam artist. Oh that's right, Hank is a sponsor there and Steve does not care where the money comes from or if it was stolen. So they continue to protect Hanky. They have also banned people for calling them out, and with no warnings. The lazy staff just deletes and bans people without any kind of notice as usual. Nothing changes at the puke green monster. I don't need to post on a forum that tries to hide criminals for their own personal profit.

I actually remember the last time I ordered from Hank several months ago that they shipped me an expensive book that I had already paid for, and they shipped it COD. I was like wth?? I am pretty sure now they were trying to see if I would pay for it twice and not notice. Well I refused it and called the company immediately. I have no doubts it was planned and to see if I would notice. Will never be ordering from there again. I love how Hank just thinks it "will work itself out" and hopes that the charges will magically disappear. What an old tool. Makes you wonder how much more money he stole in the past and never got caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Well Brad, one thing is for sure;

He is DILLUSIONAL if he thinks his company will survive this. Who in there right mind would actually give their credit card information to that company knowing what has happened. I sure won't. I'm sure that this news will eventually be the end of Hank Lee's, whether or not people are trying to cover it up. He is going to wind up in jail anyway. It's not like they were the only place on the web to buy magic. I'm sure that most people will choose to shop elsewhere.

I don't know if any of you are woodworkers or if you have heard of Festool power tools. A while back one of the main online sites called Festool Junkie had an owner that got tired and greedy like this. That WAS one of the best Festool sites on the web, now it's gone. Most people just don't want to give their money to someone they already know is a crook. Not only do people now know that Hank Lee's owner is a crook, but he sent a letter to his customers admitting as much. Bottom line, Hank Lee's is done, end of statement.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Hank Lee's Charged with Stealing 500K
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:14 am 
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Yeah the letter was shocking, and hilarious at the same time. He basically said "I stole money and was wrong, but don't worry I might get off free, so just keep ordering folks. I made some changes so you don't have to worry about being ripped off. But I won't tell you what changes because actually there were none." :lol: I hope they shut him down as even he admitted to being wrong.


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