Breaking News in the Industry: January 8, 2018

Florida man gets 34 months for credit card fraud in Maine

A Florida man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for committing credit card fraud in Maine. Juan Carlos Febles, 52, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was sentenced Wednesday to 34 months in prison by US District Court Chief Judge Nancy Torresen. Febles was also sentenced to three years of supervised release on the charges he faced, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Febles pleaded guilty in August. According to court records, Febles and three others used stolen credit and debit card numbers to purchase merchandise while in Florida and then, in June 2016, they traveled to Maine where they purchased items at a Portland Walgreens and an Augusta Home Depot store using stolen credit card numbers. A Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped the car with Febles and two other men in it, and they were arrested after deputies found merchandise, fraudulent credit cards and a laptop computer containing more credit card numbers. Another man charged in connection with the incidents, Yaisder Herrera Gargallo, was sentenced in November to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Two others, Jose Castillo Febles and Meylisi Rueda, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  [Source: The Press-Herald]

Employee accused of stealing thousands via fake online orders

A former Abilene, Texas, Walmart employee accused of stealing thousands dollars worth of merchandise by filling fake online orders has been arrested. Juan DeSantos was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed at this home on the 1100 block of N. 13th Street Friday morning and charged with Theft. He was released from the Taylor County Jail after posting bonds totaling $5,500.  During a press conference, Police Chief Stan Standridge says DeSantos, who was employed at both Abilene Walmarts as an online shopping associate, took around $5,000 worth of merchandise from the stores by creating fake online orders, filling them, and taking them to his car. He is accused of stealing iPads and other expensive items.  $2,400 worth of property was recovered from DeSantos’ home during the search warrant execution, according to Chief Standridge.  [Source: Big Country]

Casino employee accused of staging robberies

A Rapid City, Iowa, casino employee has been arrested after police say he staged two robberies at the business. Carlos Guerrero, 28, has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft and one count of grand theft. Guerrero called 911 to report a robbery on Dec. 26 at the Jackpot Casino Too on North Lacrosse Street. Once investigators arrived to interview him, his story began to fall apart, according to a Rapid City police report.  Guerrero told police that two males entered the business around 11:10 p.m. while he was opening the safe, hit him in the back of the head and made off with around $10,000. But, according to the report, Guerrero didn’t have any marks on the back of his head. In an interview at the casino, Senior Officer Marc Cote asked Guerrero if he could take a look at his cellphone, but before he handed it over he pulled it close to his chest and began rapidly typing, the report said.  “What are you doing?” Cote asked. Guerrero responded that there was a photo in the background that he didn’t want Cote to see. “He clarified and said ‘It’s my wife’s backside,’ ” the report said.  Cote took the phone and as he waited for a detective to arrive at the casino, Guerrero asked him what the punishment was for first-degree robbery. He also told Cote that he had been arrested for robbery in Florida.  Police reviewed security camera footage and concluded that the robbery appeared staged. “Carlos opened the safe when the suspects are halfway there,” the report said. “The suspects walk into the office and move the chair Carlos was sitting in. Carlos did not react. One of the suspects pushed on Carlos’ shoulder and Carlos falls to the ground.”  Detective Trevor Tollman wrote in a separate report about the incident that “it almost appeared as if Carlos waited for them to get well into the casino before actually opening the safe.”  He added that Guerrero, who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weights 360 pounds, was easily overtaken by two people who were both much smaller.  [Source: Rapid City Journal]

Retailers fight city proposal to require anti-theft systems for shopping carts

Some Milwaukee retailers are pushing back against a city proposal that would require them to install anti-theft systems for their shopping carts or face fines of up to $1,000 per unprotected cart. The proposed ordinance is aimed at reducing blight and the hazards that unattended shopping carts pose to traffic and pedestrians.
The proposal gets it totally backward, retailers say, by threatening to punish them for the actions of criminals. Under this logic, the victim of a car theft could be assessed a fine to help defray the cost to taxpayers relating to the city’s handling of the stolen vehicle,” Brian Bucaro, retail vice president for grocery store operator Piggly Wiggly Midwest, said in a letter to the city opposing the proposed ordinance.  There already is an ordinance on the books relating to shopping carts, but the new proposal adds the requirement for anti-theft systems. “Proposing additional expense and fines against a company that has been the victim of a crime makes absolutely no sense,” said Timothy Hogan, president of Lisbon Foods Inc., which operates the Sentry Foods store at 9210 W. Lisbon Ave. Under the proposal, retailers who do not install anti-theft systems would face a fine of $500 to $1,000 “per unprotected shopping cart” after two “retrievals of abandoned carts” by the city. “The entire concept of this ordinance is backwards thinking with the idea of punishing businesses for the actions of criminals,” Michael Bousis, president of Cermak Fresh Market, said in a letter to city officials. “The blame needs to be placed on people committing crimes, not on businesses providing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.”   [Source: Journal Sentinel]

Employee accused of stealing over $14K

Police were called to the Home Depot located at 4550 Verona Road Thursday morning by store loss prevention members for an employee theft case. The associates told police the thefts could amount to more than $14,000 in losses over the past several months. According to the Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department, a store surveillance camera showed the suspect repeatedly taking “smart” home products, like security cameras and thermostats, and putting them in his backpack. Police say the suspect then posted the stolen merchandise for sale on his Facebook page. The suspect, Tremaine Williams, age 33 of Madison, was arrested for felony retail theft and a probation violation.  [Source: NBC15 News]

California garment factories owe workers $1.6M for labor violations

Factories in California owe $1.6 million in back wages and liquidated damages to nearly 1,400 garment industry employees due to violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), according to a press release from the US Department of Labor (DOL). DOL investigations found many employees earned well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Some workers earned as little as $4.27 hourly.  Some employers failed to pay their workers appropriate overtime rates, while falsifying records to cover up the violations.

With a supply chain philosophy of “low cost at all costs,” companies often turn a blind eye to what drives down costs. With euphemisms like “low-cost country sourcing” (LCCS), we acknowledge, yet seemingly ignore, that the reason costs are so low is that the cost of labor is low. While that number on a spreadsheet may be enticing, one needs to look into the eyes of those providing the low cost labor to see the real impact. But as the DOL investigations indicate, one doesn’t have to travel to Asia or Africa to see the pressure to keep labor costs down. While these investigations focus on criminal activities associated with money laundering and other criminal action, the cases of wage theft, violations of labor laws, safety violations and poor employee treatment are just too common.  [Source: Supply Chain DIVE]



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