UPDATE: D&D Daily Exclusive
Barnes & Noble Heads Up $7.1 Million ORC Investigation
members of a suburban Northbrook family were arrested and charged with
interstate transportation of stolen property following an alleged
10-year shoplifting spree. The defendants, together with a cooperating
individual who acted as their “fence,” sold merchandise with a retail
value of $7.1 million through eBay accounts over the last decade,
according to a federal criminal complaint announced yesterday. The
defendants, Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife, Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their
daughter, Julia Bogdanov, 34, were arrested by Secret Service agents
yesterday afternoon at their residence on Weller Lane in Northbrook, IL.
They were each charged with interstate transportation of stolen property
in a criminal complaint that was filed in U.S. District Court. All three
appeared before U.S. magistrate Judge Michael Mason.
According to documents, the case originated after Barnes & Noble stores
experienced significant losses in Lego and American Girl product. A
Barnes & Noble Senior Investigator, Glenn Justus, found a suspected
seller of the product using the ORC Workbench by ORC Solutions. Glenn
interviewed the suspected seller, who admitted to selling millions of
dollar of product that was stolen by the Bogdanov family. That seller
later became a Cooperating Individual for the Secret Service. The Barnes
& Noble investigative team then initiated contact with the Secret
Service and brought in other affected retailers such as Toys R’ Us. Many
of the affected retailers had amassed video of the group that had been
stealing over the past few years. The PROACT division of eBay was also
consulted and assisted with compiling evidence for the United States
Documents further show that all three of the Bogdanovs had a history of
retail theft, but in different parts of the country. Search warrants
were executed yesterday and over 300 stolen items with an estimated
retail value exceeding $25,000 was recovered. The Bogdanovs defeated
many of the typical anti-theft measures like spider wraps and keeper
boxes, because they possessed specific anti-lock devices allowing them
to remove the security measures without activation. Lela Bogdanov
utilized a specially made skirt that allowed her to quickly conceal
multiple items without detection. The Bogdanov family worked in concert
to steal effortlessly, taking a systematic approach; Branko Bogdanov
would remove the anti-theft device, Julia would serve as a lookout and
assist gathering merchandise and distract employees. Both Branko and
Julia would serve as a physical and visual barrier to limit observation
of Lela's theft activities.
Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty
of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory.
If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal
sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing
Guidelines. There are currently no federal ORC Laws on the books and
the NRF Legislative Committee has been working with Congress and
retailers to add organized retail crime to Title 18.
3 charged in 'extensive' welfare fraud ring; EBT cards used and merchandise
purchased was being shipped to Africa Three people were charged
Wednesday in connection with an alleged food stamp theft ring that involved
buying merchandise with illegally obtained Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and
then shipping it to Africa. Ramsey County prosecutors say 39-year-old Noni
Shanita Snider of Eden Prairie and 38-year-old Walter Carr Cooper were the
ringleaders of the operation, while 40-year-old Nyla Jean Newburgh of
Minneapolis was charged as a co-conspirator. Investigators say an 18-month
investigation into the welfare fraud ring started with a tip from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture about individuals purchasing large amounts of
non-perishable items like soda and Ramen Noodles through the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Using surveillance footage from a Walmart
in St. Paul and Sam's Club in St. Louis Park authorities were able to identify
the two primary defendants, Cooper and Snider.
Sisters charged with theft of $50,000 of gift cards at Heartland East Hospital
in St Joseph, MO St. Joseph police say 20-year-old
Avery Nichelle Cary-Wilmes and 25-year-old Anyssa Naomi Beavers were charged
Wednesday with felony theft/stealing. They allegedly stole gift cards from
Heartland East Hospital Gift Shop, where they worked as volunteers. According to
probable cause statements, Cary-Wilmes stole 55 gift cards and Beavers stole 23
gift cards. The stolen cards were valued at $6,782. The St. Joseph News-Press
reports the hospital reported an estimated $50,000 in gift cards were stolen in
the three years that Beavers was a volunteer.
Milwaukee men busted for stealing, selling baby formula for drug money; Focused
on Target and Pick ‘ n Save Three men are under arrest
in Waukesha County accused of stealing baby formula to sell it for drug money.
Strolling into a Target last week, Menomonee Falls police said 33-year-old
Muhammad Ali, of Milwaukee, was on a mission to steal baby formula. Surveillance
video showed him filling a kitchen garbage can in a cart with nearly $500 worth
of formula. He then left the cart for his accused accomplice, 40-year-old Seth
Nelson, of Slinger, who was seen wheeling the cart out of the store in the
surveillance video. He then took the garbage can from the cart and placed it in
their getaway car, which police said was driven by 37-year-old Dante Rhodes, of
Milwaukee. The next day, they performed the same operation in the same store.
This time they used a plastic tote, police said. When the pair showed up again
Sunday, they were quickly arrested. Inside the suspects' SUV, police found 21
cans of powdered baby formula valued at $350 taken that same day from a Pick 'n
Save store. According to the criminal complaint, the men would routinely steal
cans of formula, which has a retail value of nearly $20 and illegally sell them
in Milwaukee to small grocery stores for $7.