Veronica Whitney

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July 29, 2005
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DA requests dismissal of charges in eBay fraud case

EAGLE - After more than a year battling several criminal charges here, the owner of a Hummer limo service in the valley might soon be off the hook.Prosecutors have requested an Eagle County judge to dismiss charges against Jonathan Levine, the owner-operator of VailLuxuryLimo. Levine, 44, of Wildridge, faces two counts of criminal impersonation, a felony. He is charged with using false identities to gain access on the auction Web site and defraud eBay, as well as eBay's customers, the criminal complaint says. Levine, who is out on a $50,000 bond, originally faced more criminal charges.District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said new evidence that appeared in the case made it hard to continue. "It's something that happens from time to time. With any case it's a fluid situation," Hurlbert said. "Even if we have a good case at the beginning, sometimes new evidence comes up and makes it hard to prove the charges. And that's what happened in this case. Avon (police) did a great investigation for us."Hurlbert, however, filed the dismissal without prejudice, which means if new evidence appears in the case, they could re-file it.Rhidian Orr, Levine's attorney said they're objecting to the prosecutors' request for dismissal."I want them to dismiss it with what would be the equivalent of dismissing with prejudice, which means they can't continue to harass my client," Orr said. "I hope this is the last time."The case started with about 14 felony counts initially filed," he added. "All charges have been dropped, but two. They're attempting to dismiss the case right now. That means they didn't have a case."False ID chargesAvon police arrested Levine in April 2004 for allegedly using multiple false identities to sell items on eBay. According to police reports, Levine, used 11 aliases. Levine said the charges weren't true and that "he had been framed."According to a report from the eBay fraud department, there were six suspensions on Levine's account for fraud and illegal activity. All identities allegedly used by Levine eventually came back to his address or a credit card number receiving payments.According to Avon police investigators, when they searched Levine's home and vehicles they found what they called a "significant" amount of potential evidence against him and a bag of suspected methamphetamine.If convicted, Levine could face up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $100,000 for each felony count. Levine is also charged with computer crime, a misdemeanor.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 30, 2005 02:59PM Published Jul 29, 2005 12:00AM Copyright 2005 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.