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There have been plenty of stories lately about customers getting into trouble for misusing coupons, and even store employees who have cashed in by slipping a little coupon fraud past the boss. But what if the boss is actually the one involved in the shady couponing? And employees are afraid to rat her out?

That was the case in the Canadian city of Sarnia, just over the border from Port Huron, Michigan. 44-year-old Julie Ann Robinson, a customer service manager at a local store, was sentenced a couple of weeks ago, several months after she was charged with multiple counts of fraud.

For at least two months in late 2013, prosecutors say, Robinson made purchases in her store using high-value coupons that did not match the products she used them on. But the cashiers didn’t question her – because she was their boss.

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In her role as senior customer service manager, Robinson would be the one to referee any coupon disputes between customers and cashiers, and overrule or override as necessary. As an added perk, she also apparently got to make the rules when she engaged in her own couponing – even when she broke rules that she might enforce for others.

And it all worked out pretty well for her – for a while. Eventually, someone spoke up after they grew tired of pretending Robinson’s coupons were all okay. Store managers began investigating, and monitoring her transactions on surveillance video. She was reported to authorities shortly thereafter, and charged with seven counts of fraud for causing her store to suffer a coupon-related loss of about $500.

One prosecutor called her actions an “extensive breach of trust”, while her own attorney argued that she should receive counselling, since her actions were completely out of character.

In the end, Robinson pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. She received a suspended sentence, must serve a year of probation and was ordered to pay restitution of $520.24.

And she’s no longer allowed to shop in her former store – not even if she uses the correct coupons.

photo by: ePublicist

2 Comments

  1. Well-written. You always do good with your last sentences. Really ties it all together in a great way.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

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