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June 28, 2013

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Former Duane Reade CEO and CFO still face fraud convictions and prison time  Former Duane Reade CEO Anthony Cuti and CFO William Tennant failed in an attempt to have their 2010 convictions for securities fraud overturned. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a June 2010 federal jury decision to find Cuti and Tennant guilty of providing misleading earnings information to shareholders and private equity group Oak Hill Capital partners, which purchased Duane Reade in 2004, between 2000 and 2004. In August 2011, Cuti was sentenced to three years in prison and a $5 million fine on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud and making false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Tennant was sentenced to time served and a $10,000 fine on a single charge of securities fraud. (Source drugstorenews.com)

Wisconsin court rules Target destroyed evidence  Target Corp. destroyed evidence crucial to a Wisconsin customer’s claim that her family was sickened by chemicals that were packed in a box that she thought contained an air mattress, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. The ruling stems from a 2009 lawsuit against the Minneapolis-based retail giant that was filed by Cheryl Cody. The Sauk City woman alleges that she bought what she believed was an air mattress from a Madison store in December 2006, but when she opened the box, she found a jar of ant and roach killer with a tube coming out of the top of it. She took the box back to the store, where workers placed it in the loss prevention manager’s office. The next day Cody called a Target customer service employee and complained about the items in the box and said her family was having allergic reactions. The store’s loss prevention manager later took the box and its contents to Target’s chargebacks department, which processes items that can’t be placed on store shelves. The corporation subsequently destroyed the items, according to filings in the case. Dane County Circuit Judge William C. Foust ruled the destruction of the box and its contents amounted to spoliation, a legal term that equates to the intentional destruction or concealment of evidence. As a sanction, Foust ruled the family doesn’t have to prove the box’s contents caused their illness. (Source htrnews.com)

Justice Dept., Macy's settle employment allegations  The Justice Department and Macy's Inc. have resolved allegations that the retailer imposed discriminatory document requirements on immigrant employees to verify that they were eligible to work. Macy's has agreed to revise its procedures, will provide training to its human resources personnel, will pay the government $175,000 in civil penalties and create a $100,000 back pay fund to compensate employees. In addition, the Justice Department will monitor Macy's practices for two years. (Source crainsnewyork.com)

Cerberus submits bid for Harris Teeter  
Cerberus Capital Management has made a bid for Harris Teeter Supermarkets. Cerberus will look to realize synergies between Harris Teeter and its Supervalu properties, the Journal reported. In March, AB Acquisition, which is an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, acquired from Supervalu the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacy operations — a move that reunited all Albertsons stores under one operator. (Source drugstorenews.com)

Parents preparing their back-to-school budgets with caution  After years of lackluster economic growth, it’s fair to say some households have already adapted to a certain lifestyle when it comes to budgets and expenses. And, when it comes to back-to-school spending this summer, retailers will likely see much of the same. 77 percent of families with school-aged children say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their back-to-school spending plans. (Source nrf.com)

Money Laundering - It's even at the Top - As a Vatican official is arrested smuggling $26M illegally in private jet in Italy  A Vatican official has been arrested by Italian police for allegedly trying to illegally bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into the country from Switzerland with a private jet. Prosecutor Nello Rossi says Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is accused of corruption and slander stemming from the plot and was being held at a Rome prison. He was allegedly asked by friends to bring back the money that had been given to financier Giovanni Carenzio in Switzerland. Scarano is supposed to have asked Giovanni Zito, a military official, to bring the money back by jet, avoiding customs. Scarano was allegedly due to pay Zito a commission of 600,000 euros for the work. He paid only an initial installment of 400,000 euros before being arrested. (Source yahoo.com)

FDA Shuts Down 1,677 Online Pharmacies, arrest 58 people and seize $41M - The ongoing war on counterfeit drugs sold online  The FDA said it has shut down 1,677 sites for selling counterfeit or substandard medication, or for selling drugs without appropriate safeguards. Other sites received regulatory warnings. Officials said they also arrested 58 people and seized more than $41 million worth of illegal medicines. Several sites had sleek interfaces and names that could easily be confused with legitimate pharmacy retailers. For example, the FDA shuttered Walgreens-Store.com; the well-known drugstore chain’s website is actually Walgreens.com. (Source wtvr.com)

Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts 
Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used by nearly everyone. This white paper offers a primer on BI, from understanding how it compares to analytics and the tools required for effective BI, to overcoming common barriers to success. Sponsor: CDW (Source cio.com)

Company offers free solution to bolster retailers' loss prevention efforts  Utah-based Corrective Education Company is looking to reduce that burden by offering retailers a free solution when it comes to apprehending and processing what would be considered “low risk” offenders. Under the CEC Correct program, which is either fully deployed or piloted by 10 retailers across the country, loss prevention officers in stores would be issued iPads and fingerprint scanners for on-site offender processing. After running the offender’s name through an online database to determine whether or not they are repeat shoplifter, the loss prevention officer would then be able to assess whether or not that person is qualified to take part in the program, which is an online educational course designed to reduce recidivism. (Source securityinfowatch.com)

Criminals sell access to rooted servers via online shop  Researchers have discovered an online store where criminals sell access to hacked servers. Researchers believe that Russian attackers run the operation because site administrators spoke Russian and some software installed on the server was written in that language. report released this week from online fraud prevention firm 41st Parameter, titled “The Growing Threats of Cyber Crime: Five Trends and Takeaways," said the “promise of significant profit has given rise to a complex fraud ecosystem,” encouraging scammers to make their activities more organized. (Source scmagazine.com)

Hawaii's security guards face looming deadline for licensing  The deadline to complete new training and apply for a special license is July 1. There are an estimated 10,700 security workers in Hawaii, according to a 2010 report being used by the state. Only about 4,000 applications, however, have been turned in. The requirements include eight hours of instruction and criminal background checks. "If they haven't applied, which meant they haven't met the requirements, then they technically should not be working or acting as a guard until they do so," said Charlene Tamanaha, executive officer of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Board of Private Detectives and Guards. (Source hawaiinewsnow.com)


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Retail Crime News
 
Child of good Samaritan shot outside DeKalb Kroger  DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander said the incident began at a nearby bank when a good Samaritan witnessed someone being robbed and stepped in to intervene. Alexander said the suspected robber then confronted the good Samaritan again outside the Kroger store. The shooting happened at the Kroger store on North Hairston Road in Stone Mountain about 1 p.m. The suspect fired at least eight to 10 shots into the car then drove off, Alexander said. Point blank. Just stood there on foot, not in a vehicle or anything, just shot,” one witness said. The child, a 2-year-old boy, was shot in the abdomen and taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Eggleston in stable. (Source wsbtv.com)

Officers Shoot Knife-Wielding Shoplifting Suspect in Dallas  A suspected shoplifter was shot Wednesday night after police responded to assist a security guard in south Dallas. Dallas police initially received a call from the security guard at 1921 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 8:58 p.m. reporting a shoplifter. The caller stated that he was holding the suspect at gun point. When officers arrived, the suspect and security guard were outside of the location. Police instructed the suspect to place his hands on their vehicle. When he refused and began reaching into his pockets, an officer tased the suspect, knocking him to the ground. The suspect then pulled the taser out of his chest, drew a pocket-knife and fled on foot. The suspect entered a check-cashing business, holding onto the door in an attempt to keep officers from entering the building. After refusing to exit the building, the suspect suddenly opened the door and lunged at the officer with his knife raised. Fearing for his life, the officer fired his weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect was transferred to Baylor Hospital by Dallas Fire-Rescue and is currently listed in stable condition. (Source cbslocal.com)

Federal sting busts Chicago cop shoplifting whenever he wanted and extorting store owners  But when a liquor store worker who was wearing a wire for the FBI asked him to run background checks and to supply him with police reports in March, April and May, Ramirez allegedly solicited bribes totaling $550. We never talked, and I never did this for you,” Ramirez allegedly told the undercover informant on May 22. “I would lose my job and be fired.” The 49-year-old, who works in the Near West district, was a daily visitor at the store, where he’d show up in uniform and hang out for up to an hour and “openly take items in front of the store’s employees,” a federal complaint alleges. The informant who helped set up Ramirez had previously been paid $22,000 by the feds and had given unreliable evidence in a prior case, Leonard said. (Source suntimes.com)

Phoenix man turns in friend for 15 armed robberies of Valley stores   James James says his friend confessed to robbing up to 15 convenience stores because he's out of money. He was looking forward to doing another hit soon, using that gun. So that's what kind of made me nervous and made my wife nervous," James said. ABC15 is not releasing the suspect's name while police continue to interview possible victims. Phoenix police say other agencies are checking to see if he could be responsible for even more robberies. (Source abc15.com)

Three arrested for armed jewelry store robbery in Tallahassee.  Three suspects have been arrested in connection to the armed robbery of Robert’s Jewelry Design in April. During the robbery several store employees were held at gunpoint as the robber took $145,000 worth of merchandise. Police say one of the men stopped into the store a day prior to the robbery and started asking about an engagement ring. He then returned the next day with the two others and followed through with the robbery. All three are said to have removed jewelry from the store’s cases. No one was injured. (Source tallahassee.com)

Boyton Beach man charged with TJ Maxx armed robbery.  Cell phone records have linked a Boynton Beach man to another armed robbery in Broward. Ranier Simeon Cox, 30, is accused of seven holdups so far and remains in a Pompano Beach jail. Police obtained phone records from March 23 that showed Cox traveling north past cell towers between the TJ Maxx store at 1200 University Drive in Coral Springs and his home in Boynton Beach. Records showed he was in the area around 1:45 p.m. when the clothing store manager and security guard were forced at gunpoint to hand over $3,252 from the office. A shopper entered the store as Cox ran out with a backpack full of cash and she later identified him from a series of photographs police showed her. (Source cbslocal.com)

Vancouver area Law Enforcement investigating 3 jewelry store burglaries in a week.  Police from several area cities are working together to gather and share information in connection to a recent rash of burglaries. Police believe two of the cases may be linked. (Source kptv.com)

Cricket store in San Antonio the victim of a smash and grab.  Police are on the lookout for the suspects that they say busted down a glass door to get to some expensive cell phones. Police say the suspects broke the glass door and made their way inside. Management is conducting a full inventory, but believe the suspects got away with only display models. (Source woai.com)

Burglary suspects apprehended by Tennessee State Police following a three state chase.  The burglary occurred in a Fort Payne, Alabama pharmacy, but the chase of the three suspects went through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Fort Payne sits approximately 25 miles from the border of the state of Georgia and 50 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The chase began yesterday morning after Fort Payne Police officers were called to Kilgore Express Pharmacy for a burglary in progress. (Source al.com)

Florida man and his nephew used a metal newspaper box to smash into a store.  Sharp-eyed officers in Volusia County quickly arrested a man and his nephew suspected of a smash-and-grab burglary at a convenience store near DeLand. One of the suspects picked up a metal newspaper box from the sidewalk and smashed it several time at the store’s window. (Source yahoo.com)

 

Canadian Push
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Amazon launches Canada's biggest toy store 
Amazon.ca announced today it has begun selling more than 300,000 toys in its online store. Amazon.com is being blamed in part for the decline in fortunes of big box retailer Toys R Us in the U.S., which recently reported a first-quarter loss of $111-million (U.S.). (Source thestar.com)

Canadian retailer Rona closing 11 stores due to restructuring; move will save over $70 million. Canadian home improvement retailer Rona Inc. is closing 11 non-profitable stores as part of a broader restructuring plan. Rona will also reduce administrative, marketing, merchandising and distribution expenses and eliminate 125 administrative jobs. In February 2013, Rona cut 200 jobs. Rona rejected an unsolicited $1.72 billion USD buyout offer from Lowe’s in August 2012. (Source bloomberg.com)

Hershey pays $4M fine for chocolate price-fixing  US candy maker Hershey on Friday pleaded guilty to participating in a chocolate price-fixing scheme and paid a CAN$4 million (US$3.8 million) fine. Earlier this month, Canadian authorities also charged Nestle, Mars and a network of independent wholesale distributors in the case after a whistle-blower tipped authorities to the scheme. Three individuals were also charged: Robert Leonidas, former president of Nestle Canada; Sandra Martinez, former president of Confectionery for Nestle Canada; and David Glenn Stevens, head of Canadian food distributor ITWAL. Hershey said previously that the scheme was limited to the Canadian marketplace, and involved, in 2007, executives that were no longer with the Pennsylvania-based company. (Source foxnews.com)

National Household Survey: Retail clerk is Canada’s most common job  The sales clerk is the most common job in Canada, according to newly released data from Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey. In 2011, retail boasted 1.9 million workers, representing 11.5 per cent of the country’s workforce. Almost one in five workers was aged 55 and over. Education brings work. The employment rate for those with university credentials was 81.6 per cent compared to 55.8 per cent for those with no certificate, diploma or degree. (Source thestar.com) (Source cbc.ca)

Canadian women studying more, still earning less  Canadian women are gaining ground at school, but remain stuck when it comes to employment equity. For the first time, females outshone their male counterparts overall in educational attainment. But their earning power still lags far behind. As statistics obtained by Global News indicate, more than 80 per cent of women in dual-income households still earn less than their husbands. And households where women are the primary breadwinners are also poorer than those where men earn more – incomes averaging $105,1000 compared to $118,000. And women are still earning less overall: Full-time, full-year workers earned an average of $47,300 in 2010, compared with $64,200 for men. (Source globalnews.ca)

Barrie, Ontario, police officer guilty of beating man at mall, fabricating evidence  A conviction against a police officer who viciously beat a man at a shopping mall and then tried to frame him came as a relief and vindication, the victim said after Friday's guilty verdict. Const. Jason Nevill was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, obstruction of justice and fabricating evidence against Jason Stern. The officer initially maintained that Stern, now 28, was intoxicated and had attacked him with intent to resist arrest at a mall in November 2010. However, charges against Stern were dropped after video surveillance emerged showing the officer attacking him without provocation, and beating him even after handcuffing him, leaving a pool of blood on the floor. The incident occurred at the mall after Stern's friend broke a Christmas ornament. Stern is suing Nevill and the mall for $1 million, the two security guards, the security company, the City of Barrie and the Barrie Police Service arguing he sustained permanent physical and emotional injuries from the beating. (Source ctvnews.ca)

Retail Fast Fact: June 2013 - Provided by the Retail Council of Canada 
Total monthly retail sales changed by +4.3 per cent over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by +2.7 per cent over the comparable month last year. (Source retailcouncil.org)

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ORC News
 
Arrested again: Deputies nab leader of a Tampa organized retail theft ring who had 20+ previous arrests  Toccara Huff has a lengthy criminal history that includes 27 different mug shots. Law enforcement says Huff, 31, is a career crook, a habitual offender part of an organized retail theft group. Huff's most recent arrest happened on Tuesday. Deputies say they caught her in a traffic stop with more than $2,500 worth of stolen merchandise she was attempting to sell. The goods, including high-end clothing, perfumes, and handbags came from 17 different stores in the International Mall, Westshore Mall, and Westfield Citrus Park Mall. Detectives say Huff is known to use distraction accomplices and "booster bags" to shoplift. The bags help defeat the electronic sensors that are attached to most merchandise. "Inside the bag is a specially designed method to avoid the electronic detection and security devices," McKinnon said. Huff is currently out of jail on bond. Detectives are working to identify the other individuals she was working with. (Source abcactionnews.com) (Source myfoxdc.com)

Woman who bought $133K with stolen credit card numbers sentenced to 7 years prison.  Melody Macken, 50, of Irvington, N.J., was recently sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for using stolen credit card numbers to buy $133,000 worth of high-end merchandise. Macken, who had previously pled guilty, was also ordered to pay $147,592 to retailers impacted by her activities. Macken acquired credit card numbers by calling retailers and customers and pretending to be a store employee. Using those stolen credit card numbers along with other personal identification information, Macken then purchased items with a total value of more than $133,000, including mattresses, appliances, electronics, luxury apparel, accessories and shoes. Macken's sentence was lengthened due to the fact that she committed a similar crime while out on bail, months after entering her guilty plea. (Source nj.com)

ORC duo sentenced for hitting Home Depot, Albertsons, Macy's, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Office Depot  According to court documents, the pair, along with others, stole credit cards and credit card account information and then used the information from the stolen credit cards to create counterfeit means of identification. The counterfeit IDs were then presented to merchants in Montana where the defendants impersonated the true credit card account holders and used the credit cards to purchase gift cards and other merchandise without authorization. Officials say the pair rented a car in California and then drove to Montana to commit the fraud. Arriving in Helena on July 29, 2012, they made purchases with the cards at Home Depot, Albertsons, Macy's, Target, Walmart, Staples, and Office Depot. Most of the purchases were gift cards, varying in value from $200 to $1,800 in value. The total value of goods and merchandise purchased on July 29 totaled more than $76,000, and more than 50 different means of identification were used to carry out the fraud scheme. Each were sentenced to 33 months in prison, and must pay $76,398 in restitution. (Source kxlh.com)

Canada ORC: Two arrested in credit card fraud that hit Vancouver stores & part of a 4 member ORC ring  The RCMP has arrested a mother and daughter who were allegedly part of an organized crime group that committed more than $90,000 in credit card fraud in communities across Vancouver Island, including Duncan and Mill Bay. Karen Mauro, 63, and Christine Mauro, 46, face multiple counts of fraud under $5,000 and using credit card data. Police allege that the two women were key members of a four-person crime group that was responsible for hundreds of credit card fraud cases from January 2011 to March 2012. Sgt. Peter Thiessen, acting federal media relations officer, said the ring allegedly targeted merchants in 10 communities including Langford, Sidney, Port Alberni, Courtenay, Mill Bay and Duncan. (Source canada.com)

Florida Attorney General praises Gov. Rick Scott’s passage of the Organized Retail Theft bill.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi praised Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday for his passage of House Bill 1173, the organized retail theft bill. The bill, which is sponsored by state Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Ross Spano, both Republicans, increases penalties for individuals who commit organized retail theft. The new bill increases the sentencing scoring guidelines for an organized retail theft offense exceeding $50,000. Enhanced penalties make the sentencing of organized retail theft on par with first degree grand theft. An individual convicted of retail theft at $50,000 or more would face a minimum sentence of 21 months in jail. (Source legalnewsline.com)

Abercrombie and Fitch merchandise recovered in Wellington, FL from three ORC suspects.  A foil lined bag and $408 worth of merchandise were recovered when Police arrested three suspects in Wellington, Florida. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s charged the three with grand theft and resisting arrest. An alert employee at Abercrombie noticed the foil lined bag and contacted police. (Source wptv.com)

Two suspects busted at Sak’s Off Fifth in Mebane with over $1700 in merchandise.  Two Fayetteville, North Carolina women hit the Sak’s Off Fifth Tanger Outlet for $1764.83 in merchandise. Police have now charged the two with larceny, defeating an anti-theft device and resisting arrest. (Source thetimesnews.com)

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Francesca Boyea was promoted to LP Manager for Genesco.
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Seven Questions You Need to Ask to Increase Your Leadership Potential  Improving your leadership potential starts with a self-evaluation: looking at how you communicate with both your words and body language, and taking into consideration how others might perceive you. Here are seven questions to ask yourself from the book, Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact. (How do you walk into a room?)

Leadership Without Presumption: Lessons From Eisenhower 
The 34th President of the United States didn't try to set himself apart from others: he liked sports, even though he didn't make the baseball team in college, and was even an average student. His political savvy and ability to maneuver within the rings of politics are what proved he had what it took to be a leader. Learn from Eisenhower and move your company forward, not your ego. ("You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership")

5 Monster Management Lessons From Pixar  With the new "Monsters University" movie out in theaters, how appropriate for the animated movie producers to teach us what they learned while in the production process. Director, producer, and associate producer reveal what they learned about managing creative teams and even decision making that leaders can apply to their own companies. (You don't have to know everything all the time)

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When you think you’ve got your job mastered think again. That’s usually when something bad happens in ones career or company. If you reach that point, and most everyone does, its time to re-evaluate everything you’re doing. Go on the hunt for new technology, new ideas, rewrite your program, take a fresh look at every aspect of your department and maybe even bring in a consultant you don’t know or have ties to. Someone who will challenge you and debate with you, and won’t be there to merely confirm what you’re doing and agree with your approach. But someone who will test you and force you to grow someone who you may even be uncomfortable with. Get out of your comfort zone and have some fun!

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