An employee at a Mayfair Mall kiosk is facing fraud charges after a police investigation concluded that he conned customers on their agreements to obtain iPhones so he could sell them.
John Timothy Evans, 31, of Waukegan, Ill., was charged Saturday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with two counts of theft by fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Aug. 3, a man went to the Verizon Wireless kiosk in the mall where Evans worked so he could upgrade his cell phone and buy some new accessories. Evans assisted the man in making the purchases, then had him sign an electronic pad and hard-copy documents to complete the transaction.
However, the complaint says, Evans told the customer something had gone wrong in the transaction, so he had the man sign the pad again, but this time didn’t ask for a signature on hard-copy documents.
The man left the kiosk and some time later got a bill for $100 for the addition of another iPhone placed on a subaccount, which had been set up by Evans without the man’s knowledge, police said.
While investigating that incident, police officers discovered a second victim, who said she went to the kiosk on July 3 and was helped by Evans to set up a new account for her and her fiancé. The woman purchased two phones for $227, but Evans said he didn’t have any more of the iPhones, so she would have to come back at a later date.
When she returned to the store, Evans said he couldn’t complete the transaction and refunded the woman in cash. However, the woman still got a bill for the transactions.
Another Verizon employee told police investigators the refund should have been handled by debit card, not in cash. There wasn’t any money missing for the transaction, he told police, so Evans must have paid it with his own cash.
The point of that?
By paying for the phones himself, the employee said, Evans would have gotten them at a significantly reduced rate and could then turn around and sell for full price.
Evans is slated to make his initial appearance in court Oct. 30.