BALTIMORE -- A store owner has pleaded guilty to running a scheme in which he directed others to steal items from large retailers and then return them for gift cards.
Forty-five-year-old John Tadros of Baltimore pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore to wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison at sentencing in April.
Prosecutors say Tadros directed people, called "boosters," to steal items and return them for gift cards. Authorities say the boosters uses fake drivers' licenses when return stolen goods without a receipt.
Prosecutors say Tadros bought the gift cards from the boosters for 50 percent of their value.
Authorities say Maryland retailers lost more than $400,000 in the scheme.
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