Glendale Macy's employee arrested in alleged return fraud scheme

An employee of the Macy’s store in the Glendale Galleria was arrested this week on suspicion of using the identification numbers of other employees to credit several thousand dollars in refunds to her own credit cards, police said.

Armine Tonikyan, 31, of Glendale was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of embezzlement after a Macy’s loss prevention worker turned her over to police officers.

Tonikyan, who had been working at the store since 2012, allegedly used her personal credit cards to purchase merchandise, including purses and pots, and then performed fraudulent returns on her accounts, said Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

The fraudulent returns began June 5 and ended when she was arrested, according to police, who declined to give the exact amount of money gained in the alleged fraud scheme.

Tonikyan allegedly never returned any of the purchased merchandise. Macy’s management allegedly recovered about $5,000 in merchandise.

On Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced the arrests of five people who allegedly targeted 41 Macy’s stores, including one in the Glendale Galleria and another in the Burbank Town Center, in a gift-card fraud scheme. The scheme resulted in a loss of $218,000.

Richard Reyes Duenas — one of the five arrested in the scheme — allegedly acquired Macy’s gift card account numbers and pin codes to forge inactive, stolen cards, according to the sheriff’s department.

Duenas’ associates allegedly sold the bogus cards on the streets. He and his associates also used the cards to buy Apple electronics.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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