Illinois couple sent to prison in Best Buy fraud

By Associated Press
Posted Dec. 21, 2010 at 6:44 a.m.

An Illinois couple convicted of defrauding Best Buy out of more than $32.8 million and failing to pay taxes on their fraudulent gains has been sentenced.

Prosecutors alleged that Russell and Abby Cole of Deerfield systematically overbilled the Richfield-based electronics retailer for four years through an online auction program.

Russell Cole, president of Chip Factory, received a 15-year sentence Monday. Abby Cole received three years’ probation after telling the judge she needed to care for two of her children and aging mother.

The Star Tribune reports that Cole’s co-conspirator, fired Best Buy vendor relations manager Robert Bossany received 7 1/2 years. He got credit for working with investigators to record conversations with Cole and his wife.

Best Buy said it’s made changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

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  1. Mikey Bottoms Dec. 21, 2010 at 7:59 a.m.

    Say hello to George Ryan for us.

  2. jack (me) Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:01 a.m.

    So, another deceptive headline. The article says Abby got probation. So, unless Russell and Robert were the couple (and someone better tell Abby about that), the couple didn’t get sent to prison.

  3. sue everson Dec. 21, 2010 at 9:27 a.m.

    wow… I remember buying memory from the chip factory in Deerfield about 15 years ago. It seemed like a nice little business… at the time.

  4. RegularGuy Dec. 21, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    They could have made almost as much by running Nicor Gas for five years, then selling it to another company. And there wouldn’t be a prison sentence connected to the millions, either.