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Cincinnati man complains of computer business

by Sharon Carter

A 32-year-old Gardnerville man who is awaiting sentencing on June 14 for Internet fraud is allegedly back in the virtual marketplace hawking computer hardware.

One customer, who claimed he ordered a computer that hasn’t been delivered, has lodged a complaint with Douglas County authorities.

Computer programmer Eyad Odeh, 28, of Cincinnati, Ohio, told the R-C he bought a computer March 5 through an advertisement on the Internet, but has yet to receive it.

“He called it ‘ComLink 2000’ – a Pentium II, with DVD, 120 megs of memory, a 13.3-gigabyte hard drive, full-loaded with a nice 19-inch color monitor,” Odeh said. “At $1,157, it really was too good to be true.”

It is an imputation David Harold Reynolds emphatically denies.

Earlier this year, Reynolds pleaded no contest to charges he enticed customers to buy computer hardware over the Internet while having no intention of delivering the products or the ability to do so.

Because the new allegations against Reynolds are currently being investigated, District Attorney Scott Doyle said neither he nor his staff may comment on the case.

Odeh said he called Reynolds, who had listed himself as the CEO of Custom Computer Systems of Gardnerville, to ask why his computer had not been delivered. Odeh said Reynolds apologized, told him there must have been a mix-up and sent him a delivery company tracking number dated March 19, with a delivery date on or before March 26.

“When I checked and found out the UPS tracking number was fictitious, I was so upset that I contacted the police,” Odeh said. “I found out he was in trouble for ripping off other people before me. Then a few days ago, I saw a new ad for a company called ‘ComAccess Systems’ on an auction Web site – a different name, but the same phone number and listing Reynolds as the CEO.”

Reynolds countered Odeh’s claims Thursday, saying the problem was that other orders for computer systems were ahead of Odeh’s.

“We have the right to hold a delayed processing date and if we need to, I notify people,” Reynolds said. “Then, if they don’t want to wait and request a refund, there are no questions asked. I called (Odeh) and told him that we were behind by three computers. He understood this and that was it. He did not notify us that he was upset with the wait and has never requested a refund.”

Reynolds said he believes Odeh may have called the Chamber of Commerce, learned that the company was not a member and contacted the sheriff’s office.

“I understand he talked to an investigator who told him about the old case and did not give us the benefit of the doubt,” Reynolds said. “One thing we’ve learned is to be stronger and more open in our business dealing.

“For someone to come in and slander my company is a terrible thing, especially with what I’m going through now with the other company.”

Odeh said he has asked to have his money refunded, both over the telephone and by e-mail.

He alleges Reynolds takes advantage of auction Web sites that offer free ad space to people who offer various products, particularly electronics, for sale.

In tracing Reynolds, Odeh said, he learned that Web masters who received complaints would close Reynolds’ accounts.

“What I discovered, going through various dead-end e-mail addresses, disconnected telephone numbers and closed accounts, was that when they close his accounts, he (Reynolds) comes back with new company names and opens new accounts,” Odeh said.

Reynolds maintains his actions have been aboveboard. He said none of his e-mail addresses has been closed. However, he said, the name of his previous business, Custom Computer, was too similar to that of another company so he changed it and had its telephone number discontinued. He also said that once he places an ad on an auction site, he has no control over what is done with it.

“Mr. Odeh does not have any solid paper proof evidence,” Reynolds said. “(While) my last company was not a good situation for either side, CommAccess Corp. has fulfilled every obligation.”

Odeh suggests that people who order products through the Internet use credit cards and be wary of companies which require advance payments and accept only guaranteed personal checks, cashiers checks or money orders.

“It’s safer to have a third party, like a credit card company, to check things through,” Odeh said.

Reynolds said he does not accept credit cards because he was burned in the past when he lived and did business in Oregon.

“People gave us bogus numbers and we shipped packages and found out later the cards were reported stolen,” Reynolds said. “We lost the computer and the money. We never recovered from the losses.”

Last year, according to court documents, Reynolds listed himself as the CEO of Western Enterprises on Industrial Way and also did business as Western Auto Broker on Glenwood Drive.

Odeh said dealing with Reynolds has been a learning experience that has taught him an expensive lesson about trust.

“He (Reynolds) said he was a devout Christian. He said, ‘Trust me,’ and I did,” Odeh said. “It’s not necessarily about the money, although losing $1,157 will take some time to recoup. What bothers me most is how I’m reacting. For my work, I need 100-percent concentration. But when I’m working, I find myself thinking about it.”

In a Feb. 22 plea bargain agreement, in exchange for Reynolds’ no-contest admission, which is adjudicated like a guilty plea, and his agreement to repay 12 victims more than $44,000, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office reduced 15 felony charges of obtaining money under false pretenses and 15 felony grand theft charges to a single felony charge of attempting to obtain a signature under false pretenses and one gross misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to defraud another.

Reynolds, who has been free on $1,000 bail since Sept. 30, is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges June 14. The felony conviction, by state law, requires that Reynolds be put on probation with an underlying sentence of from 1-4 years in prison. It can also include a fine of up to $5,000. The gross misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum sentence of up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

According to court testimony, Reynolds has paid a portion of the restitution. In the event there is an outstanding balance at the time of his sentencing, District Judge Michael Gibbons has said he will enter a civil judgment in that amount against Reynolds.