Limo service owner faces felony charge
When he advertised his limo service on the Vail phone books cover this winter, Jonathan Levine called his Hummer limo service: The DUI busters of Vail.
Last month, Levine himself landed behind bars when Avon police arrested him for allegedly using multiple false identities to sell items on eBay.
Levine, 43, of Wildridge, the owner-operator of VailLuxuryLimo, now 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.
Avon police arrested Levine on April 19 after a two-and-a-half-month investigation for allegedly using someone else’s identity to sell notebook computers and computer parts on eBay, police said.
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According to police reports, Levine, who is out on a $50,000 bond, used 11 aliases. On one occasion, the report says Levine used the identity of his neighbor to do business on eBay.
“The charges aren’t true,” Levine said in a phone interview. “I’ve never been arrested before.
“I was framed. I still have to hire a lawyer,” added Levine, whose next appearance at the Eagle County Justice Center is June 28. “By then, I hope to have more information.”
After eBay suspended Levine’s account, he allegedly switched to other identities to circumvent suspicions and keep selling items, the criminal complaint says. Levine used an eBay account called “wildridgeman”, which had been suspended for complaints of failure to deliver merchandise that was paid for, the complaint says. Levine is associated with 10 eBay accounts and used PayPal to collect money.
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 a credit card number receiving payments.
According to Avon police investigators, when they searched Levine’s home and vehicles last month they found what they called a “significant” amount of potential evidence against him and a bag of suspected methamphetamine.
“I’ve never used drugs,” Levine said. “I’m convinced I’ll be exonerated.”
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.
Levine, who has operated his limo service in Vail for two years, has been fined twice within the past year by the Public Utility Commission for not having the right paperwork to pick up passengers, said Ryan Hardwolf, who works for the commission. Levine was fined $1,100 last year and $350 earlier this year.
“He paid both fines,” Hardwolf said.
VailLuxuryLimo is currently being run by two other people, Levine said.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.