Local sisters face federal charges for $1M in illegal store returns

The United States Postal Service on Wednesday announced they are seeking a price increase for some mailing services that are expected to start over the summer.

SEATTLE — Five sisters from Marysville and Stanwood are facing federal charges for allegedly stealing over a million dollars by making fraudulent returns.

The sisters allegedly targeted a retailer that sells items both online and at brick-and-mortar stores.

According to the indictment, the sisters would buy items online and then get a mail return label. Once the label was scanned by the post officer the sisters would receive gift cards with the refund amount through email.

However, the items were not actually returned in the mail. Instead, the sisters would take the items to brick and mortar stores to return them. So, they would get paid back twice.

“Refund fraud schemes such as this one simply drives up the costs for retailers and result in higher prices for the rest of us,” said U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman.

The returns were made not only in Washington State, but across the country at stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon.

The sisters would allegedly order multiple shipments a week and often request return labels from the retailer before the packages even arrived.

The sisters are being charged with 24 counts of mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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