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Man arrested for defrauding Walmart of $1.3 million in PC return scheme

By Shawn Knight · 17 replies
Jun 18, 2018
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  1. Authorities in Yuma, Arizona, have arrested a 23-year-old man accused of making fraudulent returns at more than 1,000 Walmart stores across the country over an 18-month span.

    Officials picked up Thomas Frudaker after he allegedly attempted to return a computer to a Yuma area Walmart he’d previously purchased. Authorities believe Frudaker had purchased the PC then removed select components before attempting the return, presumably to sell elsewhere for a profit.

    Upon further investigation, police learned that Frudaker had pulled off similar antics at more than 1,000 Walmart locations across the nation over the past 18 months, defrauding the big box retailer of over $1.3 million in the process.

    According to CNN's local affiliate, Frudaker is facing six felony charges including two counts of criminal damage, two counts of fraudulent schemes and two counts of theft. Bail was set at $40,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court Monday, we’re told.

    Permalink to story.

  2. You'd think they'd have a technician look at returned PCs before running the transaction.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,133   +1,397

    I'd expect the average wall-mart associate's computer building knowledge to be somewhere between zero and 'huh?' But still... it doesn't take an expert to make sure it still turns on.

    I wonder how they caught him... I'd bet either he a) got too greedy or b) bragged to someone who turned him in.
    drjekelmrhyde likes this.
  4. Greed. They (Walmart loss prevention) were probably tracking him after the first few attempts and he made the mistake of walking into a store that had a lookout notice on him. Fraud like this is actually fairly common, just not with computer parts and sums in the millions. They all have two things in common: They all think there are no cameras at the customer service desk and they all think those tapes don't get reviewed unless they act "suspicious." Wrong on both counts, especially when a PC with a return ticket is missing a GPU.
    TheBigT42 likes this.
  5. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 843   +344

    He didn't make 1.3 million, he was buying computers that cost Walmart $700+ then stealing $200-300 worth of parts from them and returning them. His 1.3 million came from the cost to Walmart not what he was making. Anymore this is getting harder to do on laptops, can't steal the CPU, or video cards since they are both soldered, unless he pulled the entire board he wasn't making much.
  6. Potato Judge

    Potato Judge TS Booster Posts: 157   +71

    When you can spell Fraud and Faker from a person's last name.
  7. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,648   +589

    Wish I had thought of it.
  8. lazer

    lazer TS Addict Posts: 209   +43

    Quite a fast worker. too bad he works so fast in doing illegal things, with energy to work so fast I am certain many employer would love to have a worker who works like him, but honest, too.
  9. ArneYoga

    ArneYoga TS Rookie

    The suspect immediately posted his bond using Walmart credit slips.
    Knot Schure and Arris like this.
  10. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,669   +416

    "Officials picked up Thomas Frudaker after he allegedly attempted to return a computer to a Yuma area Walmart he’d previously purchased", why return it to a store that he'd purchased? Surely Walmart would have noticed him buying their stores :p
    Capaill and dms96960 like this.
  11. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 774   +397

    How dumb do you have to be to think "Well I got away with it for the last few months so they know nothing and I can keep doing this for years!"

    Even if the store staff were stupid enough to not notice, they would have found out when they sold it to a customer and the customer complained. Then the investigation starts, follow the paper trail, call the police, game over.
    Misagt likes this.
  12. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 255   +183

    Criminals always think they can get away with it one more time. It's always one more score need to buy something else. The greed which is the reason for their crime is also their downfall.
    senketsu likes this.
  13. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Evangelist Posts: 353   +110

    The guy had 18 months of selling hard drives and RAM sticks. I would guess his motivation was a drug habit, not greed. That monkey on his back was greedy for more dope.
    seeprime likes this.
  14. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 762   +283

    Its when things like this happen that I think some countries have much better systems for dealing with this kinda crap. like forced amputation of a hand, in public, with a rusty axe!
    Branoli likes this.
  15. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 331   +353

    Saudi Arabia welcomes you!
  16. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 537   +369

    My experience is stores like for people to keep going to rack up the charges for stiffer penalties. They probably could have done something earlier. Pray for him to find Christ before Judgement Day.
  17. lust for money and power lead so many to their downfall. Also makes society crappy for the rest of us.
    Misagt likes this.
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Just another sociopath...

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