Postal worker fesses up to scam using Best Buy rewards

  • Article by: Paul Walsh
  • Star Tribune
  • September 22, 2009 - 12:03 AM

A 50-year-old U.S. Postal Service supervisor has admitted taking nearly 16,000 Best Buy reward certificates and using them to buy almost $200,000 in merchandise.

Douglas A. Parkes Jr. of St. Michael pleaded guilty last week in federal court in St. Paul to taking the mailed items from the U.S. Postal Processing and Distribution Center in Minneapolis. The thefts occurred from June 2007 to October 2008.

Parkes, a postal employee since December 1997, was put on administrative leave when the thefts came to light. Sentencing is pending.

According to court records: Parkes used eight member accounts -- none belonging to him -- to make purchases using a combination of Reward Zone certificates, credit cards and cash.

An Oct. 1, 2008, search of his home turned up 371 items, more than $4,200 in cash and grocery bags filled with about 3,000 Best Buy mailings.

Best Buy staff noticed Parkes repeatedly bought popular items, including seven 37-inch LCD televisions and 37 iPods.

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