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An old story gets new life


The wheels of justice turn slowly. So slowly in fact that just last week a former adviser to President George W. Bush was stripped of his license to practice law in Washington, D.C. for one year in connection with a fraudulent return scheme perpetuated at Target and other retailers in early 2006.

The adviser in question in question, Claude Allen, was Bush’s assistant for domestic policy in 2005 and 2006. He was apprehended by a Target loss prevention associate at a store in Maryland, was later arrested and plead guilty. He was initially sentenced to two years probation and 40 hours of community service. A review of store video and transaction records indicated Allen engaged in a classic return fraud scheme that involves using receipts for goods that were purchased at an earlier date to obtain refunds on items pulled from store shelves.

As tends to be the case in situations such as this – high profile individuals of sufficient means with everything to lose and nothing to gain – efforts to understand why the crimes were committed are futile. Media reports shortly after Allen’s arrest and subsequent resignation chronicled his career and the fact that he earned a $161,000 annual salary and had four children.

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