Target fraud scheme leads to child sex crime charge in NC

busted-target-scheme

RALEIGH, N.C.  – A Florida man’s long-running theft scheme has led to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor in Wake County, officials said.

Warrants show Joseph Frank Edinger ran a fraud scheme at Targets up and down the East Coast.

Edinger would create fake bar codes that would allow him to purchase items at a large discount and then sell those items on the internet.

Edinger primarily bought “Nest” electronics, which cost $100 to $250, officials said.

Investigators say the suspect put his own pricing codes on the boxes before purchase.

Officers found Edinger had them with him in the store and more in his car when he was arrested.

Police say they also found shipping supplies in his vehicle, along with a shipping scale and prepaid postage labels for eBay.

Further investigation uncovered an eBay account selling the items he bought.

But Target was already working with eBay to try to shut down the account, according to Target’s senior investigator.

Court documents show Edinger had items going to Kentucky and California the day he was caught.

And he was using a phony return address, the FedEx office center in Cary which doesn’t handle postal service items.

He was initially arrested by Cary Police for obtaining property through false pretense but a further investigation into his electronic devices revealed child pornography, warrants show.

Wake County officials confirm Edinger has been charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.