Wall Street Journal Publishes Exposé on ORC Featuring CVS Investigator Ben Dugan

Wall Street Journal Ben Dugan article
Ben Dugan
Ben Dugan

In a page 1 article Thursday, September 2, The Wall Street Journal published a wide-ranging article exploring the impact of organized retail crime (ORC) on retail featuring CVS Health Director of ORC and Corporate Investigations Ben Dugan, CFI, who is also president of the national Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR).

The article provides an inside look at multiple recent ORC investigations, including the 2020 $50 million case Operation Proof of Purchase that was featured in LPM’s November–December 2020 print magazine.

Other retailers mentioned included Target, Ulta Beauty, TJX, and Home Depot, who told the newspaper that the number of investigations into criminal networks “have grown 86% since 2016.”

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Much of the article outlined the ongoing controversy between online platforms—primarily mentioning Amazon and eBay—and retailers and law enforcement who claim the platforms facilitate the sale of stolen goods by not properly vetting sellers. Home Depot CEO Craig Menear was quoted from a 2019 investors call when he said, “The digital world has become an easy way to move this product.”

Sgt. Ian Ranshaw of the Thornton, Colorado, Police Department said in the article that Amazon “may be the largest unregulated pawnshop on the face of the planet. It is super hard to deal with them.”

Amazon spokesperson Alex Haurek disputed that characterization and other criticism from retailers and law enforcement by claiming that the company “spent $700 million last year to combat fraud” and do cooperate with law enforcement when a subpoena is presented. Haurek also expressed the company’s opposition to the pending INFORM Consumers Act introduced in Congress earlier this year saying the legislation “favor large retailers at the expense of small businesses that sell online.”

To read the entire Wall Street Journal article, visit the newspaper’s website.


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