Former IKEA Customer Service Rep Pleads Guilty To Computer Fraud
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - On Sept. 1, 2011, a resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of computer fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Bernard Lofton, III, 24, pleaded guilty before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Lofton was employed by IKEA at the Robinson Township store as a customer service employee. From on or about January 2007 to on or about February2010, Lofton devised a scheme to steal money by illegally altering computer records to reflect that purchased items had been returned when if fact they had not. Lofton would credit a refund to his own debit card. During his scheme, Lofton stole $165,815.36 from IKEA.
Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court continued Lofton on bond.
Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Lofton.