Reps. Brad Ellsworth (D., Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) have introduced legislation to provide retailers and law enforcement authorities stronger tools to fight organized retail crime, which the FBI estimates costs merchants as much as $30 billion a year. The Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 would add organized retail crime to the federal code, making it more difficult for criminals to “hide behind state laws” and tighten the restrictions on online marketplaces, such as eBay. It would require the sites to “expeditiously” investigate complaints of stolen items being sold, make information of high-volume sellers available to companies suspicious of stolen merchandise posted on the site and establish the right to sue against the online marketplace for any business that had its stolen goods sold online.
This story first appeared in the July 17, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.