Five men have been accused of stealing millions in merchandise from Walmart stores over the past six years in Florida.
The suspects in the multi-million dollar Walmart TV return scam have been identified as Jorge Robert Ortiz, 26, Chanthan Scott Khouleanghak, 39, Jacorri Bentez Holland, 36, Michelle Maki Walker, Eric Eugene Grigsby, 48.
One of the suspects has passed away and two of the other men are in police custody. Police are also looking for two additional suspects. All are facing multiple charges of fraud, racketeering, plus.
The arrests come after an investigation that began on August 31, 2019, shows five suspects lifting about $3.6 million from Walmart stores in at least 13 different states and 39 different Florida counties since at least 2014.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office claims the men purchased expensive new TVs from Walmart, replaced them with used TVs, and then returned the TVs back to Walmart for cash.
They would allegedly then keep and resell the new TVs for additional profit.
In a press release, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stated, “Criminals like these are the reason our agency has a full-time Organized Retail Crime unit, working hand-in-hand with loss prevention personnel, retailers, and other agencies, to take a closer look at what might appear to some to be a ‘victimless’ crime.
This is not ‘shoplifting’ – this rises to the level of racketeering, and the truth is, everyone suffers -consumers and businesses alike.”