MANHATTAN JEWELER FINED: A New York-based jewelry company, EMH Group, has agreed to pay a $400,000 fine for bidding on its own online auctions on eBay, in order to drive up prices by as much as 20 percent - a practice known as "shill billing." Ezra Dweck and employees of his company, EMH Group, allegedly placed more than 232,000 such bids worth approximately $5 million over a one-year period, according to the Office of the New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Dweck, who sold the jewelry on his eBay store called Jewelry by Ezra, often offered shoppers "no reserve" auctions, which means items would be sold no matter how low the highest bid was. He has been barred from participating in online auctions for four years. Neither the Attorney General's office nor Dweck could be reached for further comment Sunday.

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