A Nordstrom shopper at the Mall of America, with the help of a clerk, was allowed to bust through her credit card limit and make off with more than $143,000 in high-end goods that she didn’t have to pay for, authorities said Thursday.
Police in Bloomington caught onto the scheme and arrested the clerk, a 29-year-old man from Savage, and the shopper, a 32-year-old Minneapolis woman who owns a clothing boutique in Savage. They have been jailed and then released pending charges.
What was motivating the clerk to participate in the plot, which ran from in late July and early August?
Commission payments, according to investigators.
Nordstrom’s commission has averaged 6.75 percent in recent years, according news media reports in the Seattle-based retailer’s hometown.
That translates into commissions of about $10,000 for $143,000 or so in sales.
The items purchased above the woman’s $1,000 credit card limit included a $26,000 piece of jewelry and purses ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. Police searches at the pair’s respective homes turned up “just a portion of the merchandise,” said Deputy Chief Mike Hartley.
There is no evidence that the woman sold any of the merchandise out of her boutique, Hartley said.
Police say the man quit his Nordstrom job soon after the woman’s last of 12 transactions was carried out.