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Guilty Plea from Father, Daughter; $5M in ORC Shoplift Scheme

Robert Whitley, a/k/a Mr. Bob, and Noni Whitley, father and daughter, have each pleaded guilty to a separate criminal information charging them for their roles in operating Closeout Express and Essential Daily Discounts, which for years sold millions of dollars of stolen retail product online.

“Robert and Noni Whitley operated a well-organized criminal enterprise disguised as an apparently legitimate small business,” said Acting US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “This is retail theft on a massive scale. We will continue to work with retailers and manufacturers to combat organized retail crime that is made easier and more lucrative by the ease by which stolen product can be sold online.”

“For more than eight years, the Whitley’s profited off of the backs of legitimate retailers by encouraging theft of their products for resale online,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Stopping this massive theft of products not only protects the retailers, but also consumers who are affected by those retailers’ losses.”

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“The investigation of this criminal enterprise required coordinated enforcement actions through the sharing of intelligence and working together operationally with the FBI. This extensive scheme went beyond petty shoplifting at retail stores and entailed the deliberate sale of stolen goods through third party marketplaces for profit,” said Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “Postal Inspectors are committed to protecting the US Mail system and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate these types of crimes…”   Department of Justice


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