Breaking News in the Industry: September 20, 2017

employee theft statistics

Notorious jewel thief out of jail; facing charges of shoplifting

A notorious 86-year-old jewel thief is out of jail but still faces legal trouble.mDrew Findling, a lawyer for Doris Payne, said Monday that Payne was released Friday from the DeKalb County jail, just outside Atlanta. Payne was arrested July 17 and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting after a Walmart employee said she tried to leave the Chamblee store with items she hadn’t paid for. Payne was on probation at the time after pleading guilty in March to a felony shoplifting charge for trying to steal a $2,000 necklace from a department store in December.

She was jailed for violating that probation. Findling says a judge last week ended her probation in that case, but she still faces the Walmart shoplifting charge. Payne is well known in the jewelry world for an illicit career spanning six decades. Payne has used 32 aliases, 10 different birth dates, 11 Social Security numbers and nine names on passports, according to a probation report that said she is “quite proud” and “uninhibited and boastful about her criminal career.”  [Source: Miami Herald]

Employee accused of $2.6m fraud after FBI probe

The US attorney’s office says charges have been brought against Carmen Silvia Rodriguez on two alleged counts of wire fraud “in connection with a fraud scheme to steal over $2.6m from her employer,” Starboard Cruise Services (SCS) If found guilty she could potentially face a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

The alleged wire fraud amounts to $2.6M and according to the formal US Attorney’s Office filing of charges, Rodriguez was employed by  (SCS) between April 2010 to May 2016 – the Florida-based company operating duty and tax free shops onboard cruise ships. The formal allegation made against her by the Florida Court and the FBI reads as follows: “During the course of the alleged scheme, Rodriguez worked in SCS’s Finance and Administration Department. There, Rodriguez accessed company records related to two former SCS vendors (“SCS Vendor #1” and “SCS Vendor #2”) and added her own bank account information to the two vendors’ accounts. SCS Vendor #1 and SCS Vendor #2 did not do business with SCS after 2010.

“The information further alleges that between April 1, 2010, and May 31, 2016, Rodriguez created false internal invoices that inflated the price of certain products purchased by SCS, often by overstating the shipping and handling costs associated with SCS’s purchase of the products. “By creating the false purchase orders and making them payable to SCS Vendor #1 and/or SCS Vendor #2, Rodriguez caused approximately $2,669,372.30 in electronic Automated Clearinghouse payments to be transmitted from SCS’s bank account to Rodriguez’s personal bank accounts.”  [Source: TRBusiness]

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Is retail on the rebound? Many signs point to an upswing

We are finally seeing signs that retail is trending positively again, and with consumer confidence up, the outlook is looking less negative, and may even be slightly optimistic. Here, we look at some recent signals that indicate retail could be on the upswing.

In the second quarter of 2017, we saw some positive retail earnings trends. According to research presented by Goldman Sachs at its 24th Annual Global Retailing Conference last week, 76% of 50 retail companies that reported second-quarter earnings beat consensus EPS estimates in the quarter, while 20% missed estimates and 4% saw EPS that was in line with estimates. The companies in the group cover the entire retail sector and include operators of specialty, department, home furnishings and off-price stores. The majority of the 50 companies Goldman Sachs analyzed also beat on same-store sales. [Source: Forbes]

Two New York women sentenced in credit card fraud shopping spree

Two New York women were sentenced with probation following an investigation into their shopping crime spree in April. Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley with the United States Department of Justice announced that Latavia Hassan, 33, of Mastic, New York and Chantel Lightner, 27, of Wyandanch, New York, pleaded guilty after being caught using fake cards 24 times to acquire gift cards and merchandise from stores in Nashua, Bedford, Londonderry, Manchester and Concord.

Concord police recovered the counterfeit credit cards and stolen gift cards and merchandise after Hassan and Lightner attempted to buy gift cards from the Burlington Coat Factory in Concord. Hassan received a sentence of four years and Lightner received a sentence of two years following their conspiracy convictions. The case was investigated by the Concord Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kinsella.  [Source: NH1]

ORC suspects charged after stealing from drug and grocery stores

Three men were charged after stealing and fleeing from a Rite-Aid and Shaw’s Supermarket.
After receiving multiple complaints from Falmouth Rite-Aid and Shaw’s Supermarkets of people stealing various items and fleeing the store, The Falmouth, Maine, Police Department arrested 39-year-old Gaga Kavtaradze, 27-year-old Davit Devidze, and 40-year-old Levan Shubitidze, all of Brooklyn, New York. The suspects are charged with organized retail theft, possession of burglars tools, and theft by unauthorized taking.  Officers located the suspect vehicle at a Falmouth Walmart, where the suspects were found exiting the store with stolen merchandise.

According to officers, the suspects utilized sophisticated equipment to communicate and compromise the security measures of the targeted stores. The Falmouth Police Department has evidence to believe all three suspects are involved in organized retail shoplifting within several communities. The suspect vehicle has been seized pending a search warrant and officers are confident further stolen merchandise will be recovered. [Source: WGME13 News]

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