Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Judge Makes HSN Sit in the Naughty Seat

Unreal!!! How could this go completely unnoticed? HSN didn't raise a red flag for $32,000 worth of purchases in 6 weeks ... and the credit card company didn't either! Wow! And the most expensive thing she bought was a Dyson vacuum cleaner (Queen Bea would do so much better with $32,000 to blow at HSN).

After no one noticed that she spent $32,000 at HSN, the lady--who is under psychiatric care--called the police herself and reported it pretending to be her 78-year-old boyfriend (it was his credit card that she stole).

The best part is how HSN claimed to be out all the money even if the items were returned in the original packaging ... whatev! That didn't go over well with the judge.

Here's the entire article (emphasis mine):

Judge blasts shopping channel

A Sudbury judge had harsh words for The Home Shopping Network for allowing a local woman to use someone else's credit card to purchase 348 items valued at $32,000 over a six-week period.

Ontario Court Justice Malcolm McLeod criticized the network, saying a red flag should have gone off alerting the staff that something was not right with the dozens of purchases being made by Charlotte Gatchell, 58.

Gatchell pleaded guilty to fraud, but her lawyer told the court that she is under psychiatric care and at the time of the purchases, was not taking her medication. She used her boyfriend's credit card without his knowledge.

The shopping network sold "thousands of dollars worth of junk over the phone to a person who was mentally unbalanced and using someone else's credit card, over a month and half," McLeod said.

"For the Home Shopping Network not to have asked a single question and not to contact anyone," was amazing, he said.

The average purchase price of the items Gatchell bought was about $50, said the judge, with the most expensive being a Dyson vacuum cleaner valued at $549.

In one day alone the network sold Gatchell nine watches, he said.

The judge bristled when told the Shopping Network claimed to be out all but $2,000 of the $32,000 even though it recovered 80 percent of the items. Assistant Crown attorney Natalie Boivin said network officials informed her many of the returned items had no resale value.

The judge pointed out that most of the recovered items were still in their original shipping packages. Those items included watches, Royal Doulton figurines and jewelry. "How they can claim that didn't have resale value is beyond me," he said.

The fraud came to light when Gatchell phoned Greater Sudbury Police pretending to be her boyfriend. Identifying herself as her boyfriend, Gatchell told police that his girlfriend had gone on the Home Shopping Network and had maxed out his credit card but that he was handling the situation and didn't want any police involvement.

The police officer that took the call recognized he was talking to a woman but had no idea what she was talking about, said Boivin.

When a third similar call came in, police went to the man's apartment. Neighbours told them that his girlfriend had taken the 78-year-old to hospital. They also found dozens of packages from the Home Shopping Network.

Boivin said Gatchell also called her boyfriend's bank pretending to be him trying to get the credit limit on his card increased. She also tried to use his RRSP to pay the credit card debt.

When police went to the hospital they learned what had happened.

Given that it was the second time Gatchell had fraudulently used her boyfriend's credit card, Boivin asked for 18-month jail term.

But the judge ruled that given Gatchell's personal circumstances, he would impose the house arrest sentence instead.

During the 18 months of house arrest, Gatchell must be in her home from 6 p. m. each evening until 7 a. m. the next day. She must continue to take counselling and medication and she cannot have contact with her former boyfriend.

Copyright © 2008 The Sudbury Star

1 comment:

  1. This is unbelievable. In the wake of Jewelry Television's fraudulent advertisement, this makes home shopping networks look EXTREMELY shady. What's next? Pots & pans made of aluminum foil?


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