An Ardmore woman is facing a felony charge for obtaining merchandise by false pretenses in relation to an alleged scheme to defraud several Academy stores across state lines.
According to Carter County court documents, the Ardmore Police Department launched an investigation into a local fraud report on Nov. 25.
The report stated that 41-year-old Diana Lee Hope Carlton had been allegedly “taking expensive merchandise to include baseball bats and gloves and swapping the UPC codes for significantly discounted prices,” according to an affidavit by an APD investigator.
Videos from the Ardmore store location reportedly showed Carlton checking out at the register on five different occasions. Within that time, Carlton is believed to have purchased 16 baseball bats and three baseball gloves at discounted prices, putting the store at a total loss of $5,104.38.
Officers were reportedly able to locate some of the store’s merchandise on eBay under the username “alligatorseason,” according to the affidavit.
“One of the items that was still up for auction showed the seller’s location as Ardmore, OK,” the affidavit said.
Officers believe Carlton may have carried out the same alleged scam in several different Academy stores across Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri, totaling over $28,000 in loss for Academy stores.
A video from another jurisdiction reportedly showed Carlton removing the actual UPC code from a ‘high-end baseball bat’ and taking a different UPC sticker out of her purse and putting it on the bat, according to the affidavit.
When interviewed about the investigation, Carlton reportedly did not deny any of the information regarding what had been observed on the videos.
If found guilty, Carlton faces imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for a term no more than two years or in the county jail for no more than one year, or by a fine no more than $5,000, or both a fine and imprisonment. A preliminary conference is set for Jan. 23, 2020.