A Burnsville woman has been charged with credit-card fraud after police say she used a credit card belonging to a customer at a Burnsville Center store to rack up almost $9,000 in charges.
Carlette Denise Daniel, 42, is charged with two counts of felony credit-card fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim told Burnsville police in June that someone used her Visa card to make $8,686 in purchases from two stores at Burnsville Center between March and June.
The woman said she had not used the credit card since Nov. 21, 2011, when she bought items at several stores and a kiosk at Burnsville Center.
The victim provided police with credit-card statements, which showed that her Visa card had been used to make numerous purchases at a store called Presents, along with additional transactions at Life Uniforms, both in Burnsville Center.
The card was also used to make purchases at vending machines and elsewhere in Burnsville and Savage, at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis and at the Mall of America, according to the complaint.
Police learned that Daniel worked at both Presents and Life Uniforms, and that she was working at those stores each time an unauthorized transaction was completed with the victim’s credit card. A witness told police that Daniel had said she had a family member who was being treated at the VA Medical Center.
The manager of Life Uniforms told officers that Daniel had been suspected of stealing from the store since February, and that she had been under surveillance. The manager said it appeared that Daniel scanned purchases on the victim’s credit card, then processed return credits on her own credit card.
The store manager reported losses to Life Uniforms of more than $5,000.
The owner of Presents told police that Daniel made similar fraudulent transactions there, and that the store had lost more than $3,000.
Police questioned Daniel, who began to cry and admitted that she had completed the transactions using the victim’s credit card, according to the complaint.
She told police that she had found the victim’s credit card in a drawer at work, and that she swiped the card through the machine for purchases, then returned the money to her own credit card, the complaint charges.
Daniel told officers that she has a gambling problem and needed money to buy food and pay rent, according to the complaint.
Daniel is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charges Dec. 3 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.