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Furniture dealer convicted of wire fraud

Posted August 13, 2008 6:50 p.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2008 10:30 a.m. EDT

— A former furniture-business owner accused of taking money and defrauding customers was convicted by a jury Wednesday of 10 counts of wire fraud.

Henry Ray Privette operated his Brunswick County-based online furniture company under a number of names, including Carolina Furniture and Carolina Furniture Factory Direct from High Point.

Federal prosecutors said Privette devised a scheme that involved taking money from customers. People ordered furniture online and over the phone. After Privette had their money, he came up with various reasons for delivery delays, according to the indictment against him. It also said he would claim a "truck broke down" or would allegedly give delivery dates that he knew were false.

Privette was arrested in Charleston, S.C., in January.

Five years ago, Privette was arrested on fraud charges in Brunswick County. Over three years ago, a judge ordered him to stop doing business in North Carolina. Before he moved to the Tar Heel state, South Carolina had ordered him to stop doing business there.

For each of the 10 counts of which he was convicted, Privette faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He had faced 24 counts.

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