OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JANUARY 22, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW JERSEY MAN SENTENCED FOR $92,000 FRAUD;
SWITCHED BAR CODES FOR WAL-MART PURCHASES
COURT BARS DEFENDANT FROM ENTERING
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a North Bergen, N.J., man was sentenced in federal court today for using fraudulent bar code stickers to defraud Wal-Mart stores of more than $92,000.
Faris Nayel Salem, 28, of North Bergen, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this morning to 21 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Salem to pay $92,142 in restitution. As a special condition of his release, the court ordered that Salem not enter any Wal-Mart store during three years of supervised release following his prison term.
On Aug. 21, 2008, Salem pleaded guilty to access device fraud. Salem admitted that he used fraudulent bar code labels to purchase more than $92,000 worth of items such as Crest Whitestrips and M3Power Razors at a greatly reduced price. The scheme involved more than 200 Wal-Mart stores across the country from June 18, 2004, to Aug. 16, 2004.
Salem went to Wal-Mart stores in Belton, Mo., and Harrisonville, Mo., on Aug. 16, 2004, and purchased items using fraudulent bar code labels for the items to pay lower prices for the items than he should have paid. Salem attached a fraudulent bar code label (from a less expensive item) to one of a quantity of the same product and had the cashier use the product with the fraudulent bar code label to enter the product in the computer system and determine the price for the item. After scanning the fraudulent bar code label, the cashier charged the defendant the same price for the entire quantity of items, thereby defrauding Wal-Mart.
At the Belton store, Salem purchased 26 Crest Whitestrips, which should have cost $29.97 apiece, for $3.47 apiece using a fraudulent bar code label. Salem also purchased 40 Gillette M3 Power Razors, which should have cost $9.84 apiece, for 97 cents apiece using a fraudulent bar code label. At the Harrisonville store, Salem also purchased 41 Crest Whitestrips,
which should have cost $29.97 apiece, for $3.47 apiece using a fraudulent bar code label.
The security manager at the Harrisonville Wal-Mart observed Salem as he was checking out and detained him until the Harrisonville police arrived to arrest him. In a subsequent search of Salem’s vehicle, the merchandise previously purchased at the Belton Wal-Mart was seized. Also found in this search was an atlas with various locations of Wal-Mart stores marked on it.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Alexander Menzel, Jr. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Harrisonville, Mo., Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at