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ORC 3-6-14




UPDATE: D&D Daily Exclusive

Barnes & Noble Heads Up $7.1 Million ORC Investigation


Three 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 Secret Service.

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. (Source

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. (Source

Three 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. (Source

ORC 3-6-14
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