Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Overcharging leads to fraud charges in Louisiana

Being accused of a crime that can be charged at the federal level can leave you looking at jail time or long prison sentences. In those cases, your best bet may be to seek a defense against the allegations, like these people may want to. According to the Louisiana State Police, a white collar crime involving a restaurant fraud scheme may have been targeting students at the Louisiana State University's Student Union.

The reports from March 27 show that this fraud could have gone back several years. Four people have been arrested in relation to the crimes. According to the investigation, cashiers and managers had allegedly been overcharging students on their school-issued debit cards, and then they kept the difference. On top of that, the records kept were falsified to cover up any sign of the illegal transactions.

Some employees from the McDonalds, for instance, allegedly charged students over $31,000 more than they were supposed to; the arrest warrants reported that financial records weren't available for dates before March 2013. Because students were forced to spend money at certain restaurants, stadiums, and stores on campus, according to the news, there would have been special card readers for those school-issued cards used with "paw points," and they could be manipulated.

The arrest warrants have shown that the people allegedly rang up the meals correctly, but they then would type in a higher number of paw points spent on the students' cards. That was regularly done in amounts of $1, $5, or $10, according to the news.

These students would not be given receipts, according to the story, and that would mean that the store employees would have time to adjust records to match the money spent. However, investigators were able to find a two-day period in October when the store had taken over $1,400 extra from students. Of the people arrested so far, one is 23, two are 34, and one person is 31.

Source: The Advocate, "LSU police say students targeted in restaurant fraud scheme" Ben Wallace, Mar. 27, 2014

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