NJ Postal Worker caught stealing credit cards, funding lavish lifestyle
A New Jersey couple was arrested for allegedly stealing dozens of credit cards from the Long Island post office. The couple was charged with forgery, possession of stolen property, and identity theft. This is yet another case of credit card fraud and theft, a rampant crime in the United States. A 28-year-old NJ resident was apprehended after his shift on Tuesday; at the time, he was carrying six different stolen credit cards on him. The accused resident and his girlfriend allegedly used the stolen cards to purchase expensive cars and other luxury items. The perpetrator began working at the Garden City post office in 2014 as a letter carrier. During his routes, he would look through the mail for any packages with credit cards. Afterwards, he went to the dark web and used the crypto-currency Bitcoin to purchase personal information about the cardholders in order to activate the cards. According to prosecutors, the perpetrator stole over 30 credit cards in the last eight months. The couple used the credit cards to buy brand name items at the Short Hills Mall; the couple also owned a BMW and a Maserati.
The theft was uncovered when Garden City residents began to complain that they had never received their credit cards. After searching the couple’s home in Perth Amboy, authorities discovered $30,000 in cash, several handguns, and other luxury items. After being arraigned in court, the couple was held on a $50,000 cash bail. It is unclear whether either defendant has obtained a lawyer. This incident has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Garden City residents. A number of residents expressed dismay at the thought that they were unable to trust their local post office to safely deliver their packages. However, the U.S. Postal Service was quick to assure the public that perpetrator’s actions do not represent the other 500,000 people they currently employ. A public statement read, “… the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior.” [Source: Lendedu News]
Here’s how one employee stole $130,000
When Keynan Kinard hit upon a white-collar crime scheme so successful he was able to steal $130,000 from Lowe’s, he perhaps could have used the money to pay down restitution costs from a previous act of insurance fraud. Instead, he spent almost as much money as he took in on “lavish vacations.” That’s according to an affidavit of probable cause from North Londonderry Township Detective Toby Pokrop that sheds more light on how a 25-year-old human resources manager could pull off the “elaborate scheme” for which he recently received criminal charges. For more than five months, Kinard managed to avoid detection in a complicated endeavor that involved signing former employees up for debit cards, clocking into work as other employees, and making ATM withdraws in Harrisburg, the affidavit says. Here’s how he allegedly did it – and how police caught on to the scheme.Beginning on July 1, 2017, Kinard took advantage of a Lowe’s paycheck option that was supposed to make employees’ lives more convenient. If employees don’t have a bank account, they can apply for a Visa debit card and Lowe’s will load their paychecks onto that card, according to the affidavit.
Kinard admitted that he activated the cards on behalf of former employees, according to the affidavit. “He admitted to changing the pay rate for each employee,” the affidavit states. “He admitted to clocking them in and out to show un-worked hours, vacation and bereavement.” Kinard would have the cards loaded, then withdraw the funds from various ATMs, usually on the same day, usually in Harrisburg, and generally around $600 at a time, the affidavit said. To prevent the former employees from knowing, he also managed to change the addresses listed on their W-4 forms to the North Londonderry Lowe’s store address. It took nearly six months for police to investigate the case, but once debit card vendor First Data Corp. first raised red flags to Lowe’s on Dec. 4, it became obvious something fishy was going on. Kinard was charged with one count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, theft by unlawful taking, unlawful use of computer, and 46 counts of identity theft, 46 counts of access device fraud and 46 counts of tampering with records or identification. Kinard has waived his preliminary hearing, according to court documents. [Source: Lebanon Daily News]
Patriots, Eagles team up against Super Bowl counterfeiters
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles joined forces ahead of this year’s Super Bowl, asking a Minnesota judge to grant local police the power to seize counterfeit merchandise and tickets. NFL Properties LLC, New England Patriots LLC and Philadelphia Eagles LLC sued Does 1-100 in Hennepin County District Court last week, just as the Patriots and Eagles get set to face each other in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Sunday. According to the lawsuit, the defendants consist primarily of large-scale professional counterfeiters who plan to sell merchandise and tickets bearing the National Football League’s trademarks and logos. NFL Properties and the two teams – represented by lead attorney Leita Walker with Faegre Baker Daniels in Minneapolis – say the counterfeiters will take advantage of numerous official Super Bowl LII-related events by duping fans into buying counterfeit merchandise and tickets. Each year, the Super Bowl attracts a television audience of more than 100 million viewers in the U.S. alone, and intense media attention is focused on the game and the participating teams in the weeks leading up to the game, the complaint states. According to the lawsuit, NFL Properties has issued national licenses to nearly 180 companies for use of the NFL trademarks on a variety of products, such as apparel, souvenirs, games and novelty items, but counterfeiting remains a significant concern. The Patriots, Eagles and NFL Properties seek an ex parte temporary restraining order and a judgment enjoining any counterfeiters from producing or selling any merchandise bearing the protected NFL trademarks. They also want the court to give law enforcement authority to seizure any counterfeit merchandise or tickets. NFL Properties did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment. [Source: Courthouse News]
CargoNet 2017 cargo theft trend analysis
The CargoNet Command Center logged 1,391 supply chain intelligence events into the CargoNet database in 2017. A total of 741 records involved a cargo theft event in the United States or Canada—one of the safest years ever recorded by CargoNet. The average cargo value per event was $196,109, and an estimated $145 million in cargo was stolen. CargoNet also recorded 1,479 stolen tractors, trailers, or intermodal chassis and containers in the United States and Canada in 2017. The decrease in cargo theft can be largely attributed to successful law enforcement investigations in 2016. California was one of the states where successful investigations had the biggest impact; cargo theft was down 32% in California compared with 2016. California also has one of the highest concentrations of specialized cargo theft units in the country. Cargo theft events in New Jersey decreased 13% from 2016. Note that New Jersey State Police maintains specialized cargo theft units that work closely with local and county law enforcement agencies. Most of the top five states with the most cargo theft each year had decreases in 2017. In 2017, 22% of all cargo thefts involved food and beverage items, with more than 100 cargo thefts of this commodity.
Cargo thieves stole meat products and both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages the most. However, thefts of food and beverage items decreased from 2016 in favor of household items such as major appliances and tools. Cargo theft most commonly occurred on weekend days in 2017. Theft was most common on Friday, with 19%, Saturday, with 17%, and Sunday, with 16% of all cargo theft losses in 2017. In 37% of cargo theft cases, the cargo was left unattended for multiple days; and there was no electronic tracking, witnesses, or surveillance to determine the exact day of loss. In the event the exact day of loss is not known, the theft is assumed to have occurred on the first possible day. When we examined events in which the day of theft was known, theft was highest on Sunday, with 17% of losses, and Monday, with 16% of losses. This may not be a fair analysis, because truckers may be more likely just to leave their trucks overnight on Sunday or Monday compared to Friday or Saturday. Cargo thefts occurred the most at warehouse locations but were closely followed by fenced yards. In 2017, 18% of all cargo theft occurred at a fenced yard location. We do not believe this indicates that fenced yards are more desirable targets, just that it is more common for a yard to be fenced at cargo theft hot spots like industrial areas of most major metropolitan areas. [Source: American Journal of Transportation]
Man charged, accused of credit card fraud
A Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, man who allegedly used more than a dozen credit cards to commit more than 70 fraudulent transactions was charged with five crimes. Jevon Morgan, 25, faces two counts forgery, two counts of misappropriating identification and one count of credit card fraud. He returns to court Feb. 8. Although just a handful of counts were filed, according to the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, information of 14 cardholders was used in 73 successful purchases last June at a Bellevue retailer. Additional charges may be filed. Morgan also faces six similar charges in Winnebago County for offenses last June and July. A jury trial is scheduled for June 30 in that case. [Source: Fox11 News]
“Is it shoplifting if it’s not the customer’s fault?” Amazon Go raises questions for the retail industry
“Just walk out,” say the signs at the entrance and store windows at Amazon’s newest concept store. “No lines. No checkout. (No, seriously.)” Amazon Go opened in Seattle last week with much fanfare, raising a host of questions about the future of retail. Among them: How will the company handle shoplifting? And what does the tech-heavy, no-cashier concept mean for shrink — industry speak for theft, damage and other errors that might eat away at a retailer’s inventory — which costs retailers an estimated $48.9 billion a year? One of the store’s first patrons took to Twitter Jan. 22 to report that Amazon Go had failed to charge her for a container of vanilla yogurt. “I think I just shoplifted??,” CNBC reporter Deirdre Bosa wrote on the social media platform using the hashtag #freestuff. Amazon executives responded with a giant shrug. “It happens so rarely that we didn’t even bother building in a feature for customers to tell us it happened,” Gianna Puerini, Amazon Go’s vice president told CNBC “I’ve been doing this a year and I have yet to get an error. So we’ve tried to make it super easy on the rare occasion that does happen either to remove it or enjoy breakfast on us.” But retail analysts said the incident raised concerns about how the store, which relies on a system of cameras, scanners and infrared sensors to track customers’ movements and purchases, might handle theft, whether intentional or not. A spokeswoman for Amazon Go did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment for this story.
“The absolute biggest concern for me is shoplifting,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research, a retail technology consultancy in Miami. “How long until someone figures out a way to cheat the system by — who knows — wrapping items in aluminum wrap or stuffing them into metal containers? Shrink, as a general rule, is a big problem for the industry that nobody has been able to solve.” “Is it still shoplifting if it’s not the customer’s fault?” added David Bell, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder.” The rise of online shopping and app-based payments have given way to a gray area, retail and technology experts say, where the culprit for lost revenue might not be a nefarious customer or an employee slipping items into coat jackets, but a technical glitch. Take, for example, instances where a ride-sharing app doesn’t charge a rider for the full ride, or when a warehouse employee accidentally sends an extra item to a customer. Not the shopper’s fault, but it is still a potential problem for retailers. Supermarkets, analysts said, are among the most vulnerable retailers, in part because large, chaotic stores make for easy targets. “There’s an entire cottage industry in place to find ways to steal from stores,” Rosenblum said. “The customer is the biggest variable there is.” [Source: The Washington Post]