NY man sentenced to prison for fraud
A Bronx, N.Y., man was sentenced to three years in state prison, the prosecutor’s office said. Jesus Fabian, 29, was sentenced in state Superior Court in Newton by Judge William J. McGovern III and he was also ordered to pay $939.96 in restitution and $405 in fine and fees. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 27 to two counts of third-degree fraudulent use of a credit card and third-degree theft by deception.
Fabian admitted that on Dec. 21, 2014 he made two credit card purchases totaling $1,255.76 at the Kohl’s in Newton using credit cards in the names of other people. Fabian was represented by attorney Janine Cerra and the state was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Magdalen Czykier. [For more: New Jersey Herald]
Florida strip club employee accused of stealing $275,000 worth of jewelry, cash
Police arrested a Wacko’s Gentleman’s Club employee accused of stealing $275,000 worth of money and jewelry from his boss after his roommate told officers he’d been living like a rock star. Samir Shihata, 37, was arrested Wednesday on grand theft charges. Officers began investigating Shihata on March 23 after someone at the business noticed cash, 150 gold coins and $30,200 worth of jewelry were missing from a safe at Wacko’s. The 150 gold coins were valued at $220,000 and $25,000 in cash was missing. Shihata did IT and surveillance work for the club.
The employees told officers they suspected Shihata may have taken the items because they were the only three people with access to the office where the large safe was located. They told officers Shihata did not have the code for the safe but they noticed a hole in a ceiling tile above the keypad that was big enough for a camera. They said someone saw Shihata messing with the tile approximately two weeks before the theft. Officers spoke with Shihata’s roommate, who said Shihata had recently started spending a lot of money and living like a rock star.
Officers searched Shihata’s home on April 12 and found in his room three bottles of Viagra that belonged to one of the theft victims.He was arrested and charged with grand theft, petit theft and drug charges for some marijuana and paraphernalia officers found at his house. Police began investigating the grand theft a week before Wacko’s was raided by state agents. Two dancers were arrested on narcotics and prostitution charges after reports that narcotics and prostitution were going on at the club. Several safety violations temporarily shut down the club. [For more: CBS 47 Action News]
LP Worldwide: Counterfeit mobile phones, parts worth $1.7M seized from syndicate
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Customs busted a syndicate involved in selling counterfeit mobile phones on Tuesday (Apr 11), arresting eight people and seizing products with an estimated street value of almost S$1.5 (US$1.7)million. In a joint news release on Friday, the authorities said officers from the police’s Criminal Investigation Department and Singapore Customs raided locations in Tanah Merah, Kaki Bukit and Harbourfront in a 10-hour operation. The eight men arrested, aged between 28 and 40, are suspected of being involved in selling counterfeit mobile phones.
A total of 10,660 pieces of trademark-infringing mobile phones and component parts were also seized, the authorities said. Investigations into the case are ongoing. The police said it takes a serious view of intellectual property rights infringements and would not hesitate to take action against perpetrators. Those found guilty of falsely applying a registered trademark to goods may be fined up to S$100,000, jailed for up to five years, or both. [For more: Channel News Asia]
TX Woman arrested for shoplifting after leaving car keys in store
Corpus Christi police were dispatched to the Walmart in the 6100 block of Saratoga Boulevard at around 4:20 p.m. Sunday after a woman left the store without paying for more than $1,000 worth of items. Police said the suspect had left her car keys at the store and was sitting in a silver Volkswagen Jetta in the parking lot. Officers located her and noticed she was holding a screwdriver inside her car. She was ordered to drop it and get out of the vehicle. She dropped it, but wouldn’t get out. After a brief struggle, officers were able to remove the suspect from the vehicle and detain her.
Loss prevention personnel told officers that the suspect was seen grabbing numerous DVDs in the electronics section and then put them inside personal shopping bags. She then walked past the registers and was confronted by loss prevention. When they asked her to stop, she said “No!” and left, leaving her DVDs and her car keys. Officers arrested the suspect, 35-year-old Veronica Quiroz, and transported her to the City Detention Center. [For more: KiiTV News]
Mom left child in running car while shoplifting at Publix
A 27-year-old St. Johns County, Florida, mother has been charged with child neglect and theft after deputies said she left her 6-year-old son inside a running, unlocked car for 30 minutes Saturday while she stole groceries from a Publix. According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Lindsay Pence took her infant child into the Publix at Mission Trace on State Road 16, but left her son in her Honda Civic, “because he was crying and (she) didn’t want to deal with the issue inside the store.” Deputies were called to the Publix parking lot because of the unattended boy and found him in the back seat of the unlocked car, which was running with the windows up, according to the arrest report.
Pence came out of the store not long after deputies arrived and said she’d gone in to “grab a few personal items,” the arrest report said. Deputies reviewed Publix surveillance video and saw Pence enter the store about 4:30 p.m. and put items into a plastic Publix shopping bag that she’d brought with her. She later pushed her cart out the door without paying for any of the groceries, according to the arrest report. The items were valued at $33.88, deputies said, and Pence had left the child alone in the car for 30 minutes. [For more: The Daily Advertiser]
Ecommerce Fraud Attacks Increase by 33%
Merchants are increasingly adopting EMV terminals and consumers are increasingly using chip-and-pin credit cards. This has created a ripe ground for a rise in fraud attacks on ecommerce. Global information services company Experian has released a new report, the 2016 E-commerce Fraud Attack Rates rankings, which reveals that there was a 33% increase in ecommerce fraud in 2016. “One of the major drivers for the increase in fraud attacks is the continued adoption of EMV terminals for chip-and-pin credit cards. While these cards reduced counterfeit credit card fraud at the point-of-sale, they have driven fraudsters online. This pattern is similar to what other EMV markets saw when transitioning to chip-and-pin cards,” said Adam Fingersh, general manager and senior vice president, Fraud and Identity Solutions, Experian. “As more compromised data becomes available from breaches, it’s easier for fraudsters to get their hands on identity data requiring consumers and businesses to stay diligent in protecting themselves.”
The study analyzed ecommerce transactions to rank billing and shipping fraud across the US. In 2016, the top-ranked states for shipping and billing fraud were Delaware, Oregon, and Florida. The top city for both shipping and billing frauds was South El Monte, California. While the billing frauds in Delaware and Oregon increased by over 200%, the states of California, Florida, and New York accounted for over 70% of the total billing frauds during the year. The states of Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, Maine, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming saw over 100% increase in shipping frauds. Miami, Florida, accounted for 17 of the top 100 ZIP codes for shipping frauds, and 20 out of the top 100 ZIP codes for billing frauds. [For more: ReadItQuik]
Rue 21 closing 400 stores
Teen clothing retailer rue21 is closing about one-third of its stores nationwide as it focuses more on its online business. The privately held company is shuttering nearly 400 stores, leaving it more than 700 stores in 48 states. The company is based in Cranberry, north of Pittsburgh. In a Facebook post, it called the decision to close the stores “difficult but necessary.” Like many brick-and-mortar retailers, it has been battling declining mall traffic amid strong competition online. The company didn’t say how soon the stores will close, though its website is promoting store-closing sales. [For more: Chicago Tribune]