CENTER TWP — A reputed Internet scam artist is in the Butler County Prison today following his arrest Thursday for allegedly sending a counterfeit money order to a California man for more than 200 video games.
The case, according to state police Cpl. John Stepansky, a computer crime investigator at the Butler barracks, should serve as a reminder: let the online buyer beware.
Federal authorities already suspected Justin M. Castilyn, 28, of Holyoke Road, Center Township of scamming eight victims when the state police arrested him in the latest case.
Police said Castilyn by way of Craigslist.com, an online classified ads site, agreed in August to buy 212 video games from a San Francisco man.
The seller told police he shipped the games to Castilyn's home after receiving a money order for $1,950. But then learned the money order was fake.
Stepansky said that during his investigation he learned of the defendant's past victims after contacting the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership of the FBI and the nonprofit National White Collar Crime Center.
Castilyn in those other cases failed to either provide merchandise or pay for products from online transactions.
Police got a search warrant on Thursday and seized two computers as well as 12 other suspected counterfeit money orders from the defendant's house, documents said.
District Judge Lewis Stoughton arraigned Castilyn on charges of forgery, access device fraud, receiving stolen property and unlawful use of a computer.
Already on parole for a 2000 conviction in a sexual assault case in Butler County, Castilyn remains in the county jail on $75,000 bond.
Police reminded computer users to be alert when buying products online. Stepansky recommended dealing with reputable businesses.