Retailers lose billions to shoplifting every year and many employ aggressive legal tactics to get restitution even in the absence of a conviction of wrongdoing. A recent article in the The New York Times calls attention to a big retailer’s practice of hiring law firms to send out tens of thousands of letters to suspected shoplifters demanding payment after being charged for something they may or may not have done.
Those falsely accused of shoplifting, some on flimsy hunches, report getting letters demanding restitution shortly after being charged for retail theft demanding payment for allegedly stolen merchandise and a penalty to boot. In many states, retailers do not have to return money collected even if cases are ultimately dismissed or people are cleared, paving the way for abusive collection practices.
In a lawsuit brought by a victim against a big retailer, one manager acknowledged that “they do not audit whether the people who received the demand letters ever committed a crime at all”. Due diligence is apparently the responsibility of retailers’ hired guns, who have little incentive to get it right when there is so much money to be made.
Falsely Accused of Shoplifting?
Contact a Waukesha Retail Theft Defense Attorney For Help
Many people have not only lost time and money but also their reputations after being accused of a crime such as shoplifting even when they may be innocent or played a lesser role than is being alleged. It is important to seek help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to stand up for your rights. Contact the law offices of Andrew C Ladd for immediate assistance today at 262-542-3900.
Source: New York Times, “Retailers Treat Them as Thieves Guilty or Not”, by Michael Corkery, August 19, 2018.