Ambitious Atlanta teen scams Kroger out of nearly $1 million

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Very few of us earn the vast sums of money we think we deserve, but most teenagers—unless they are among the lucky few whose YouTube channels really take off—are even more deprived. All those fancy high-paying jobs go to people with college degrees and MBAs. If you’re underage and undereducated and underexperienced, the best you can hope for is a decent hourly wage and the patience to work your way up.

Tre Brown, a 19-year-old in Gwinnett County, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, was dissatisfied with his salary at the local Kroger, where he worked in the fuel center, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. But he saw an opportunity and seized it: while the employee who was responsible for flagging fraudulent transactions went on vacation for two weeks, Brown created returns for more than 40 nonexistent orders, ranging from $75 to more than $87,000, and put the money on several credit cards. The total amount added up to more than $980,000.


When a theft is that ambitious, people are bound to notice, and most likely sooner than later. Which Kroger corporate did. The suits contacted the Gwinnett police, who took Brown into custody on January 14. Before that, though, Brown had gone on a shopping spree and bought new clothes, guns, and two cars, one of which (a Chevy Camaro) he wrecked just before his arrest.

Brown was released from the Gwinnett jail on $11,200 bond the same day he was arrested. Shortly thereafter, the AJC reports, “a large sum of money” had been returned, but the store wouldn’t answer any more of the paper’s questions.