Saturday, March 11, 2006

Some Family Time

This story gives new meaning to the term "spend more time with the family" as a resignation justification. A month ago, that excuse was used by a Bush policy advisor, Claude Allen, as I noted in Family Time. The explanation is now revealed in this Slate article, Former Bush Aide Charged in Felony Theft:

Allen was arrested yesterday and charged in a felony theft and a felony theft scheme. According to a department press release, Allen conducted approximately 25 fraudulent "refunds" in Target and Hecht's stores in Maryland.

* * * *

Allen is charged with practicing a form of shoplifting called "refund fraud."

In general, a refund-fraud scam goes like this: You purchase an item - —a CD player, let's say - —and leave the store with it. Then you come back to the store and pick up exactly the same CD player; you take the CD player and receipt from the original purchase to the returns desk, claiming that this is the item you bought, and get a refund for it. You keep the original CD player, and pay nothing. Professional shoplifters like refund fraud because it's relatively safe.

Eschaton provides an interesting view of Allen, who was "[k]nown as Rove'’s enforcer, Allen wielded a heavy, censorious and punitive hand at HHS." He was a true zealot for the cause.

In my previous post, I wondered what the "real deal" was for this "moral" conservative. I speculated:

Will it be an indictment or a sex scandal? My bet is the latter.

Not only was I wrong on the sex scandal part, I never in a million years would have guessed this one. Of course, I had never even heard of refund fraud before.

Gotta love those Christian conservatives.

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