You don't mess with Amazon. That's the hard lesson four Michigan men are learning after being charged with stealing $1.5 million worth of textbooks from Amazon's rental service.

The men allegedly rented the books from the retailer with no intention of returning them and then tried to sell them for cash.

Prosecutors say the group was led by Geoffrey Mark Hays Talsma of Portage.

Here's How the Scam Worked

Amazon typically rents college textbooks at a fraction of the cost of buying them new. They have to be returned by a pre-determined date (usually at the end of a semester). If the books are not returned, the customer's credit card is charged the full rate.

Talsma would use fake identities to open Amazon accounts. They'd then pay the rental fees using Amazon gift cards. Amazon also requires customers to enter a backup payment method, so the men would purchase prepaid Visa cards that had minuscule balances - not enough to cover the cost of the books once the rental agreements defaulted and the books were not returned.

Market Watch reports that Talsma would have the books mailed to various postal addresses which were accessed by himself or any of his three co-conspirators.

Approximately 14,000 textbooks were stolen from the giant retailer and Talsma would then attempt to sell them to local bookstores or online.

Three Accomplices

Gregory Gleesing and Lovedeep Dhanoa of Porage, and Paul Larson of Kalamazoo were also named in the crime.

Numerous Charges

Talsma has been charged with mail and wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, aggravated identity theft, and lying to the FBI. He could face 40 years in prison if convicted.

This Lovely Home Once Belonged to a Real Life Michigan Gangster

You don't have to be a gangster to live in this Detroit home built in 1928, but it could bring peace of mind knowing that your house is 'gangster ready' in the event your life takes an unexpected turn.

According to the Detroit Free Press, this home located in the historic Palmer Woods residential district, once belonged to Joseph Burnstein. Burnstein and his brothers were notorious members of the Purple Gang in the 1920s, reputed for wreaking havoc in the city during Prohibition.

It's listed by for $749,000.

Every Time the Final Jeopardy! Round Question Was About Michigan

Our state has been well represented on Jeopardy! over the years with over 800 regular Jeopardy! questions featuring Michigan.

In addition to all of those, there have been 14 final Jeopardy! round questions related to the state of Michigan, and we've got them all listed for you below.

More From Cars 108