Woman Shoplifted 3.8 Billion Dollars Worth of Goods Over 19 Years, Sold Them on eBay
Image for representation.
In a story that could feature in a Netflix crime thriller show, a Texas woman has been convicted of stealing goods for over 19 years and then selling them all on eBay.
Kim Richardson, now 63, had been running the scam since she was in her early 40s. Her crimes were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Secret Service. The crime – stealing millions of dollars of merchandise by shoplifting or other methods and selling them all online.
She has received a sentence of 54 months or 4.5 years in federal prison. She also has to pay restitution of $3.8 million (a whopping 22 crores in Indian Rupees), according to a press release by US Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The woman, who is a Dallas resident, has travelled all across the United States.
During her travels, she shoplifted expensive, or regular brands from retail stores. Then, she used both government and private courier services like United States mail (USPS), Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS) to resell them.
The new release said she stole from numerous retail stores across the country. She had special shoplifting tools that could disable security devices like electronic tags. She would then casually leave the stores, with all the stolen items in a large black bag she carried everywhere, exiting as if nothing were amiss.
She herself packaged all the stolen material before mailing it to unsuspecting buyers on the internet, unaware that they were purchasing stolen items.
The release didn’t mention any details about her defence lawyer but briefly mentions the culprit’s confessions.
In her plea, she accepted that she led a conspiracy from August 2000 till April 2019. She pleaded guilty on December 17, 2019.
The court observed that it was “virtually impossible” to identify all the victims of her fraudulent schemes. This includes the thousands of buyers as well as stores who suffered direct losses due to the theft.
However, the investigation revealed that she was paid approximately $3.8 million in four separate PayPal accounts she used to make the sales on eBay, the same amount that Richardson now has to pay back to the state.