Neimans' "Store Loss Prevention Specialist" Helped With Store Loss

Categories: Crime

A press release we just received from the U.S. Attorney's Office sounds like a movie pitch. As in:

"[Manuel] Alvarez worked at Neiman Marcus as a store loss prevention specialist. In 2004, Alvarez met an accomplice and they agreed to sell jewelry on Ebay and split the proceeds. Alvarez would obtain jewelry from a Neiman Marcus store and then his accomplice would post the items for auction/sale on her Ebay auction site, representing that the jewelry was legitimate merchandise that belonged to her. They agreed to equally divide the profits from the sales."
The 37-year-old Alvarez is from Mesquite, and he sold the jewels, worth at least $200,000, on eBay. Today, he pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of stolen goods in interstate commerce and aiding and abetting. Say the feds, he faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or "twice the loss to the victim and restitution." The entire release, detailing the whole scheme, is after the jump. Break in case of writers' strike. --Robert Wilonsky

A former security officer at a Neiman Marcus store in Dallas, Manuel Alvarez, admitted stealing jewelry from the store and selling it on Ebay, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Alvarez, 37, of Mesquite, Texas, entered his plea this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney to an Information charging one count of transportation of stolen goods in interstate commerce and aiding and abetting. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or twice the loss to the victim and restitution. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O'Connor on March 8, 2008.

According to the factual resume, Alvarez worked at Neiman Marcus as a store loss prevention specialist. In 2004, Alvarez met an accomplice and they agreed to sell jewelry on Ebay and split the proceeds. Alvarez would obtain jewelry from a Neiman Marcus store and then his accomplice would post the items for auction/sale on her Ebay auction site, representing that the jewelry was legitimate merchandise that belonged to her. They agreed to equally divide the profits from the sales.

From February 29, 2004, to December 10, 2005, Alvarez made only three legitimate jewelry purchases, three watch straps, from Neiman Marcus using his employee discount. He also purchased three or four jewelry items, with a total value of approximately $4000, from the Neiman Marcus catalog. All other jewelry items that Alvarez provided to two female accomplices, to sell on Ebay, were stolen by Alvarez from Neiman Marcus.

Alvarez admitted that he stole designer jewelry items and other merchandise from Neiman Marcus by taking the items from open stock drawers or by using his key as a loss prevention specialist to access items kept in locked storage in the store. He hid the jewelry on his person to remove it from the store and delivered the jewelry to his accomplices to sell on Ebay. He also provided an accomplice with gifts of jewelry which he had also stolen from Neiman Marcus, some of which she sold on Ebay and kept the proceeds for herself. In June 2005, Alvarez approached a friend who lived in the Houston area, and provided her items he had stolen from Neiman Marcus for her to sell on Ebay.

This accomplice also photographed the items and placed them for auction on Ebay using her Ebay account. Both accomplices mailed the items to the purchasers using the U.S. Mail and equally divided the net proceeds with Alvarez.

Alvarez admitted stealing at least 400 jewelry items, with a retail value of $200,000 - $400,000, from Neiman Marcus.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda C. Groves.

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