Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Tuesday

July 23, 2013

Authorities: Kmart employee cashed in bogus returns

TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities said a Traverse City Kmart employee stole more than $2,300 from the store by cashing in refunds on nonexistent merchandise.

Amanda Michelle Velderman, 34, of Traverse City, is scheduled for a July 29 arraignment in 86th District Court on a felony embezzlement charge.

Court documents state a Kmart loss prevention employee on July 6 noticed “an unusual merchandise return where an item had seemingly been returned to the store and the refund was deposited onto the credit card of a (Kmart) employee.”

The loss prevention employee searched store records and found nine occasions in which Velderman received refunds from returned merchandise. Store surveillance footage showed one instance in which Velderman performed a “return” on merchandise she did not have and “then took a corresponding amount of cash and placed it in her pocket.”

Velderman gained about $2,400 from fraudulent transactions and wrote a confession, according to the court documents. She also is charged as a habitual offender after to a 2005 felony conviction of attempted lottery forging or counterfeiting a lottery ticket.

Kmart store officials declined to comment.



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