friend of mine is scamming a retail chain

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friend of mine is scamming a retail chain

I am a bit worried about my friend. He is also worried about it as well. He buys broken things off the internet, buys working things from stores like Best Buy, replaces them, and then returns them.  He then sells the working item on the internet. He claims that the people who check the return over never find any problems with it. I have a feeling this is illegal, but am not 100% sure. What are the chances that he will be caught, and if he is caught, what are the potential criminal charges he could be faced with?

Asked on May 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Be 100% sure. What your friend is doing is theft. When he steals something worth $1,000, he is committing grand theft, otherwise each item is a case of petty theft.  But "petty" might be too gentle a word, because the sentence for petty theft is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  And once he gets caught, the stores can sue him in civil court, for the value of what he stole from them.

He will get caught, if he keeps doing it.


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