The Bogdanov family allegedly stole $7 million worth of toys, electronics, and other merchandise, then sold the goods on eBay. Federal prosecutors claim that Lela Bogdanov stuffed the merchandise in the blue lining of her big black dress and then walked out of stores with the stolen merchandise hidden in her clothing. Her family members reportedly created a diversion while the heist took place. Then the Illinois family transported the stolen property across state lines.
The family– including Lela Bogdanov, her husband Branko Bogdanov (pictured above), and 34-year-old daughter Julia Bogdanov — conducted the fraud for over a decade. Many of the items were sold to a ring that unloaded the goods on eBay. The alleged ring is cooperating with authorities, but was not named. The couple made $4 million from the sale of the stolen goods, which had a retail value of over $7 million.
The loss-prevention experts at Barnes & Noble and Toys ‘R’ Us noticed large amounts of merchandise that went missing, which is when they opened up the investigation. The investigative team saw an eBay account that was selling the same items that were in question and traced it back to the family. Secret Service agents recently arrested the family at their their Northbrook, Illinois, home.
The family returned home from a trip to Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas where more stolen items were taken. If the family is convicted, they could face up to 10 years of prison time and a $250,000 fine.
[Image Credit: Palantine Police Department]
[Source: NY Daily News]