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Toys R Us cashier steals $56,000 worth of merchandise by using bogus coupon codes

By Mason White 4:54 PM December 22, 2014
Toys R Us store illustration 

By: Wayne Morin
A cashier at Toys R Us, was arrested on charges of theft after stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from the store, prosecutors in New York said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that the cashier at the Toys R Us store in Rego Park, Queens, is alleged to have created more than 1,100 online orders using bogus coupon codes, which resulted in more than $56,000 worth of toys, clothes, electronics and other items to be shipped to her home and a family member’s address.

“The defendant is accused of going on a virtual shopping spree in which she is alleged to have accessed the store’s marketing system to create coupons and then order an array of merchandise, including baby formula, toys, games, clothing and video systems. The defendant is now facing significant jail time for her alleged actions,” District Attorney Brown said.

Shontia Jones, 24, of Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Deborah Stevens Modica on second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property and first-degree falsifying business records.

Jones, who was granted supervised release, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

District Attorney Brown said that according to the criminal complaint, Jones was a cashier at the Toys R Us store in the Rego Center Mall, and she allegedly created fraudulent coupon codes in the system and bought thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

The coupon codes are meant to be used by customer service representatives and are given to customers who are unsatisfied with a purchase.

The codes can be used like cash on the Toys R Us website.

Jones allegedly created codes roughly twice a week, and bought baby formula, Disney toys, Xbox games, baby clothes, disposable diapers, Hot Wheels, beverages, board games and more.

Jones is alleged to have had more than $45,000 worth of products shipped to her Far Rockaway address and an additional $10,000 worth of items shipped to her sister’s address, also in Far Rockaway.

The defendant was caught when Toys R Us conducted an internal investigation and realized that an abnormal number of coupon codes had been generated at the Rego Park store.

At the time of her arrest, Jones, who has a 2-year-old son, allegedly told investigators that she didn’t sell any of the items and that she had given away some items to family members.

However, most of the merchandise were found in her home.