Kroger employee arrested for scamming nearly $1M from store through ‘return fraud’ scheme

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GWINNETT COUNTY, GA – A 19-year-old man was arrested on January 14th in Gwinnett County, Georgia, after allegedly engaging in a sort of return fraud scheme while employed at Kroger during a two-week period.

According to investigators, the suspect was alleged to have scammed over $980,000 from the grocery store chain while employed at the location on Steven Reynold Blvd.

Tre Brown was arrested by Gwinnett County’s White Collar detectives, after Brown had allegedly engaged in a series of false returns in a two-week period at the Kroger location he worked at between December of 2020 and January of 2021.

Tre Brown mugshot
Tre Brown – Gwinnett County Police

The purported scheme in question involved the suspect allegedly creating over 40 returns for items that did not exist and placing those return amounts on numerous different credit cards.

The fabricated return amounts in question ranged anywhere from $75 to $87,000 per transaction.

Needless to say, corporate employees of Kroger had caught on to the bizarre transactions taking place at the location where Brown was working at and contacted police, noting their suspicions of theft via return fraud.

Investigators allege that with the money Brown head purportedly scammed out of Kroger, that he used the ill-gotten gains to purchase the likes of clothing, guns, shoes, and even two cars.

It’s currently unclear whether there were any other alleged co-conspirators in the case, as officials have not indicated whether there are any other persons of interest being investigated in the matter. 

Following Brown’s arrest, police state that a large sum of the allegedly stolen money was returned to Kroger. The suspect is now facing charges of theft by taking.

Jail roster information
Tre Brown jail record – Gwinnett County Jail

Jail records indicate that Brown has since bailed out of jail after posting a $11,200 bond. If convicted, the suspect could face a prison sentence between 1 and 10 years.

This is a developing story. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into this ongoing investigation. 

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Speaking of alleged fraudulent schemes, a City Councilman based out of Louisiana was arrested earlier in January for allegedly commencing in various forms of election fraud. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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AMITE CITY, LA – An arrest was recently made in Amite City pertaining to alleged election fraud, but the suspect implicated in the alleged offense bears some troubling concerns. Apparently, the Amite City Councilman is being charged with eight counts of election fraud.

According to a statement made by both Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin on January 7th, Amite City Councilman Emanuel Zanders was arrested for allegedly submitting falsified voter registration applications that he knew to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent.

During a conference in Baton Rouge, AG Landry and Secretary Ardoin addressed the press expressing how important election integrity is given the current times. 

AG Landry stated: 

“Anything other than a one-for-one vote distorts our election process.”

“Those who wish to distort an election in this matter are breaking the law and betraying their fellow citizens. It is even more disheartening when the perpetrator is an elected official.”

Following those same sentiments, Secretary Ardoin added:

“Election integrity matters…Yesterday’s arrest is the culmination of work by my office, the Attorney General’s Office, the Registrar of Voters, and others; and it proves that the multi-level checks and balances of our election processes and procedures work.”

“This should serve as a stark warning to those looking to violate our election laws.”

From what officials say on the matter, Zanders became the target of a joint investigation conducted by the the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and the Secretary of State’s Office.

Back in October of 2020, the Tangipahoa Parish Registrar of Voters – which Amite City resides within said parish – had reached out to the Secretary of State’s Office when concerns first started cropping up about potential fraudulent voter registration forms containing bogus addresses. 

This led investigators to finding evidence that Zanders allegedly duped over twenty people within Louisiana into signing incomplete registration forms that he would later alter the address information for. 

Outside of that alleged series of acts, it’s further alleged that Zanders submitted another voter registration application of another Louisiana resident where he put down his own address on their application. 

Concluding the statements on the recent arrest and charging of Zanders, AG Landry noted: 

“Election integrity is the bedrock of our election process. I am proud of the work Secretary Ardoin has done to protect our elections and weed out bad actors who wish to betray our system and way of life.”

According to Louisiana Election Code RS 18:1461.2, Zanders could face up to two years in prison for each count of election fraud if convicted. 

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