FDLE arrests Orlando man for defrauding major online retailer

For Immediate Release
June 16, 2023
ORLANDO, Fla. – Following a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) investigation, Wail Chouder, 33, of Orlando, was arrested on charges of organized scheme to defraud $20,000 or more but less than $50,000.
The investigation began in May of 2022 when the Office of Statewide Prosecution contacted the FDLE Gainesville Field Office with a criminal complaint from a major online retailer.  The retailer identified a customer that was engaged in fraud involving merchandise theft through a systematic pattern of return abuse. The total loss to the business was $40,395.56 for 27 fraudulent returns between May of 2019 and May of 2022.
The investigation revealed that Chouder’s scheme was to purchase high-value products, including electronics, sporting goods, and luxury eyewear, and after receiving the merchandise he requested returns, and then sent back lesser-value substitute products in place of the original merchandise. For his returns, Chouder received a credit in the amount of the initial purchase to the purchasing credit card, account on file, or retailer gift card, and illegally kept the high-value merchandise. If the company refused a refund, Chouder filed chargeback claims with various credit card issuers by requesting the retailer to reimburse the credit card issuers for the fraudulent returns. Chouder committed his crimes in Orange and Alachua counties.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Organized retail theft preys on businesses and harms our consumers. This lawlessness will not be tolerated in Florida, and thanks to FDLE and my Statewide Prosecutors, a thief stealing more than $40,000 is arrested and his fraudulent return scheme is out of business.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass said, “Retail fraud hurts all consumers. When these greedy criminals commit fraud against a business, they also make Florida’s hard-working citizens victims, too. I commend the exceptional work conducted by FDLE’s agents and analysts and Attorney General Ashley Moody’s prosecutors.”
Chouder was taken into custody on an active FDLE arrest warrant when he appeared for a separate court hearing yesterday. He was booked into the Orange County Jail. The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
For Further Information Contact:
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

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