BEDFORD, Ohio— A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted five employees and two customers at a Giant Eagle store in Bedford for running a lucrative “coupon fraud scheme.”
The fraud allegedly took place between July 3, 2018 and December 19, 2018, and amounted to $156,000.
According to the indictment, two female customers would walk around the store on Northfield Road, “Filling up one or more grocery carts” with items like baby products, paper goods and gift cards. Then at checkout the women would allegedly use, “Invalid or illegible” coupons. When the register would decline the coupon, the employee would, “Simply override it.”
According to the indictment, most of the transactions examined amounted to $400, but they only paid about $20. The “customers” would then take the stolen goods and sell them at “make shift” stores.
Employees Leslie Hart, Ashleigh Estell, Rachel Donofrio, Ke’aisha Scruggs, and Shawnte Davis, and customers Mara Pryor and Roz Hayes are all charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, grand theft and conspiracy. Prior and Hayes are also charged with money laundering.
FOX 8 News reached out to Giant Eagle who released the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed by the illegal activities allegedly undertaken by these former Team Members. These reported actions in no way reflect Giant Eagle’s high ethical standards. As the matter is with the authorities, we are unable to comment further.”
Prosecutors said the suspects should be arraigned within the next couple weeks, and others could still be implicated and charged.