Couple Plead Guilty To Scamming Kohl’s Of $600,000 In Rewards Cash

Sure, sometimes that Kohl’s cash you earned goes to waste: you forgot about it or found there simply wasn’t anything in the store you could use it on. One New Jersey couple apparently didn’t have those problems. Instead, police say they created a system to scam the retailer’s rewards program to the tune of $600,000 in products. 

The couple pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding the Kohl’s Cash rewards program by creating a computer system that stole cash certificate numbers belonging to other customers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Kohl’s Cash is a loyalty program in which the retail chain gives customers $10 certificates when they spend $50 in stores or online.

Authorities say the pair – one of which is a computer programmer – employed their scheme to obtain cash benefits totaling roughly $587,526 from more than 7,000 legitimate customers between June 2014 and June 2015.

With the cash vouchers in hand, the couple reportedly placed more than 1,000 online orders for items like electronics, jewelry, sports memorabilia, clothing and household products.

In some cases, the couple sold the items to others who didn’t know they were stolen, returned them for store credit or sent them overseas to relatives as gifts, records show.

The alleged fraudsters also sold some stolen numbers to others, including businesses that resell gift cards, the Journal Sentinel reports.

The scheme was uncovered by FBI agents following an investigation into complaints that Kohl’s customers were unable to redeem cash rewards certificates they had received.

Investigators believe the couple was able to pilfer the Kohl’s cash by using an automated computer process that “located, identified and provided certificate bar code and PIN numbers for rewards cash certificates in a sequential manner.”

The Journal Sentinel reports that Kohl’s tested the theory and was able to get both the certificate number and the current balance for about 3,000 Kohl’s Cash certificates.

The New Jersey couple’ sentencing is set for January. The man – deemed the mastermind of the scam – faces a decade in prison. Although, it could be reduced per a plea agreement. The woman faces less than a year.

New Jersey couple plead guilty to scamming Kohl’s Cash rewards program [The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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