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Burnsville Woman Charged with Swindling Store with Phony Discounts, Coupons

Police say Ivory Ardell King gave fraudulent discounts, coupons and price reductions to one customer and swindled the store out of more than $3,000.

A local woman has been charged with swindling a Burnsville store out of more than $3,000 by giving a friend discounts and price reductions that weren’t authorized by the store.

Ivory Ardell King, 31, is charged with theft by swindle, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, a loss prevention officer at the unnamed store contacted police on April 13 and reported that King, a sales associate at the store, had completed between 80 and 90 transactions in which she provided a single customer with discounts, coupons and price reductions that were not authorized by the store.

The loss prevention officer determined that that loss to the store was $2,725, but estimated the actual loss to be more than $3,000 because any transactions before November 2011 couldn’t be calculated.

Police contacted King, who admitted that she had initiated between 80 and 90 transactions between the fall of 2011 and April 13, all of them benefiting a single customer, whom she identified.

King said she gave the customer “extra discounts” or allowed the customer to use invalid coupons. She said a number of the transactions involved the customer’s store credit card, and some included issuing refunds onto the card, according to the complaint.

King said she didn’t get any money from the customer, whom she said gave her “some cookies and a video game for her child” – though she said she didn’t think the cookies and the video game were in exchange for the fraudulent transactions, the complaint says.

King is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charge Oct. 29 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.

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