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ORC 2-20-13



Identity Theft ORC Ring Hitting St. Louis, MO Furniture Dealer, and potentially others


By David Groh
Corporate Risk and Loss Prevention Manager
Weekends Only, Inc.

Weekends Only Furniture Inc., a St. Louis, MO based Furniture retailer, has been the target of an ORC ring of identity thieves. The perpetrators were starting with our on-line pre-approval process for financing as their means to utilize the stolen identities. There are many levels it appears with this operation.

The first step they used was to have an individual come into the store and select the product for purchase. They would then take the list of items and leave without making any purchase, stating they would come back later. Next, they would send in another individual later in that same day, usually closer to closing time, to use the pre-approved financing application to purchase the items previously selected. They would tear off the top of our form that would show which sales associate they worked with and the original name given to the sales associate. The had very good (brand new is a clue here) Driver’s Licenses to match the account. They would then send a couple of other individuals, usually in a rented U-Haul truck, to come pick up the furniture almost immediately.

We have been working with multiple St. Louis area law enforcement and have arrested a couple of individuals involved at the lower levels of the scheme. Based on conversations with Law Enforcement, Weekends Only is not the only target in the St. Louis area. As a potential stop gap, Weekends Only has since turned off the ability for individuals to get pre-approval for financing on-line and customers would have to come in to the store to get pre-approval. We believe the individuals stealing the identity most likely will not want to be seen on cameras, etc. To this point we believe it has worked.

Dave can be contacted at or 314-750-5936 shuts down, but new is an upstart in the online resale market.  Okanjo Partners based in Milwaukee has over $1 million in merchandise posted by online sellers. This will give the ORC investigators another alternative to finding those “new with tag” items for resale. From a quick look at the site, several ORC suspects may have already found it. (Source

Victoria’s Secret in Gastonia, North Carolina hit for $2500 in merchandise.  Police are investigating the theft of 200 pairs of ladies underwear valued at $2500 from the Victoria’s Secret store in the Westfield Eastfield Mall. The theft occurred between 6:30 and 7:30pm. No suspect’s description was available. (Source

Identity theft ringleader who hit Walmarts nationwide to be sentenced today   The man identified by New Hampshire investigators as the ringleader of a nationwide identity theft and check counterfeiting ring is facing up to nine years in prison when sentenced in federal court. Investigators say he and his co-conspirator cashed more than $370,000 in bogus payroll checks at Walmarts nationwide for three years before being apprehended at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Tilton in 2011. (Source

Organized Retail Crime:
Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State

The Food Marketing Institute has released a report containing Organized Retail Crime: Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State. Over the next several days the Daily will publish these figures. Stay tuned to see your state estimate!

State Annual Sales - Retail Trade and Food Services (2009) State % of Annual Retail Sales Est. Amount of Stolen Merchandise Attributed to ORC (by State) State Sales Tax Rates Est. Lost Sales Tax Revenue Attributed to ORC (by State)
Nevada $44,768,400,311 1.04% $310,825,421 6.85% $21,291,541
New Jersey $131,206,754,997 3.04% $910,963,863 7.00% $63,767,470
New Mexico $27,656,941,284 0.64% $192,021,166 5.13% $9,841,085
New York $267,670,577,876 6.19% $1,858,427,362 4.00% $74,337,094
North Carolina $128,139,868,648 2.97% $889,670,579 4.75% $42,259,353

*Note: States with no state sales tax were omitted (AK, DE, MT, NH, and OR)

For more information on organized retail crime, visit FMI's issue page.

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