Mailman who sold JCPenney coupons on eBay suing for $25M

Feb. 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

BALDWIN, N.Y., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A New York state postal worker who sold undelivered coupons on eBay is suing retailer JCPenney for how it responded to his actions.

Thomas Tang, 41, of Baldwin, whose lawsuit names JCPenney and Nassau County, alleges JCPenney falsely told police it lost more than $100,000 when he sold undelivered coupons on eBay, the New York Post reported Monday.

Tang said the coupons were from the "undeliverable" bun and would have been "destroyed or otherwise disposed of" if he had not sold them for a profit of about $35,000.

"At all times relevant hereto, the sale of discount coupons for profit on an online auction site was not and still is not illegal," Tang's lawsuit states.

Tang had been charged with felony grand larceny and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. he was sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to pay $28,000 in restitution and give up $1,000 he possessed at the time of his arrest.

Tang's lawsuit alleges police coerced him into signing "an inaccurate written statement," and that Penney "publicized [his] arrest in an attempt to intimidate others who sold coupons on eBay, even though it was aware that such practice was not illegal."

The lawsuit is seeking $25 million compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages for "abuse of process." The lawsuit also alleges false arrest, malicious prosecution and illegal restitution.

The United States Postal Service did not respond to requests for comment and it was unclear whether Tang still works for the service.

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