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Grand jury indicts in Walmart scam

A federal grand jury in Charlotte has indicted a man in connection with a refund/counterfeit goods scam that clipped Walmart stores in three states for almost $625,000.

Robert M. Milton, a former Charlotte resident who most recently was living in Blacksburg, S.C., faces charges of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. The 49-year-old was taken into federal custody earlier this month.

He faces up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines for each of the wire fraud charges, and up to 10 years and $2 million in fines for the three counts involving counterfeit goods.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte says Milton forged Walmart receipts with phony product codes and descriptions matching counterfeit DVDs, software and other merchandise. He would then turn in the merchandise for cash refunds.

An earlier affidavit from a Department of Homeland Security investigator said the total losses to the targeted Walmart stores in the Carolinas and Georgia are still being tabulated.

Authorities say Milton’s operation ran from December 2010 through April of this year.

Gordon: 704-358-5095
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