Police in Massachusetts say a 19-year-old student stole more than $500,000 from her former employer and used some of the money to buy a Tesla car and Louis Vuitton items. According to NBC Boston, the accused, Ariel Foster, is a track runner and student at Lasell University in Newton.
According to a police report, she was arrested on campus last Wednesday, arraigned in court on Friday, and eventually released after posting $1,000 bond. Foster, who used to work at the Lovisa jewelry store at the Burlington Mall, has been forbidden from contacting her former coworkers or the mall.
Despite being charged with stealing over $1,200, Foster’s attorney stated that the accused kid has no record, adding that she will also hire an investigator. Yet, court documents revealed that the accused 19-year-old student did not deny committing the act and also apologized.
Burlington police detectives claimed they were told about a credit card machine breach at the jewelry store on February 22; a complaint that came the morning after a night shift employee observed the suspect at the business after working hours, according to a police report. The employee had returned to the business because she had forgotten to sign out of the register.
Authorities also stated that a study of business data revealed Foster made transactions immediately after the employee clocked out. The breach is reported to have happened when Foster was no longer employed at the store.
Foster had previously been observed at the store after hours, according to the employee. On her last day of employment, February 2, the suspect was seen visiting the store after it had closed. According to NBC Boston, the employee, who had neglected to sign out again, told police that she observed the suspect with a key chain standing near the register. According to the police report, Foster allegedly informed the employee that she was returning her key, which was understandable given that it was her last day. Yet, she allegedly stayed in the store after the employee left.
Lovisa’s IT team also notified detectives that the store’s CCTV footage appeared to have been tampered with. Foster is accused of carrying out the fraudulent transactions over the course of three days in February. According to investigators, her method comprised scanning an item and boosting its price before transferring the difference to a credit card in the appearance of a refund. During that time, detectives discovered Foster transferred tens of thousands of dollars to her bank account using a debit card, according to the police report, which added that she did it numerous times.
Foster originally claimed police she was not at the business when the fraudulent transactions occurred, but eventually admitted to the crime after learning officers had seen her bank statements.
The police report stated that the 19-year-old suspect “began to disclose that she took the money to make her mother feel less stressed and to make her family and friends happy”…” She also stated that she felt unappreciated. Ariel stated that she will take the blame and said, ‘I’m sorry for what I did’,” the report added.
Foster is claimed to have sent $6,000 to Delta Airlines and more than $20,000 to a 5-star hotel in Maui, Hawaii, in addition to purchasing a Tesla for $35,000 and about $5,000 in Louis Vuitton items.
“My personal opinion is greed took over. When I first saw the amount, I was surprised. I thought it was a mistake,” said Burlington police chief Thomas Browne. “She would have an item in the store that she would mark up over-priced and then she would return the difference onto a credit card that she owned in her name.”
“At this time there is no indication or belief that she did not act alone,” Browne said. The chief also disclosed additional charges could be filed.