Woman Pleads Guilty In $250K Gift Card Fraud

BALTIMORE (AP) — A New York woman has pleaded guilty to defrauding a home improvement company by pretending to be with its information technology department and getting employees to set up gift cards.

Thirty-five-year-old Lucerte “Lisa” Abellard of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., entered the plea Monday in federal court in Baltimore. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison at sentencing Sept. 26.

According to her plea agreement, Abellard called employees at Lowe’s stores around the country pretending to be from the IT department. Prosecutors say Abellard would claim there were problems with a register, ask an employee to run diagnostics and do a test transaction.

Officials say the test transaction would require putting a credit of about $3,500 on Lowe’s gift cards which Abellard held.

Prosecutors say Lowe’s lost more than $250,000.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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