Convicted shoplifter charged with scamming Victoria’s Secret


PITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman with an extensive history of shoplifting convictions is charged with trying to rip off Victoria’s Secret in an online ordering scam that cost the company thousands of dollars.

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh have charged 59-year-old Charlene Moff with two counts of mail fraud. Prosecutors said she would order products, then call the company falsely claiming that the merchandise was lost or stolen from the mail or that the orders were missing items when she did receive them. Victoria’s Secret either credited Moff’s account or shipped replacement items, neither of which Moff was entitled to receive, prosecutors said.

The scam cost the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer of women’s undergarments thousands of dollars, though federal prosecutors didn’t offer details in the court filing and wouldn’t otherwise comment on it Wednesday.

The New Derry woman has four felony retail theft convictions in Westmoreland County, where she lives, one each in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015, according to online court dockets. Moff never received more than probation, and the victims and value of items she stole are not listed in those records. In Pennsylvania, felony retail theft charges are typically filed only after repeated misdemeanor arrests.

The two federal mail fraud counts each carry up to 20 years in prison. They were filed Tuesday in a criminal information, a document that bypasses an indictment and generally signals a person intends to plead guilty. Moff’s public defender, Jay Finkelstein, doesn’t comment to the news media.

The case was brought to the attention of federal authorities by a Victoria’s Secret loss prevention specialist. The company did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

Moff didn’t immediately return a call to her home phone.