Ariel Foster, a 19-year-old Lasell University student, pleaded not guilty Friday to stealing almost $1 million through a credit card scam. Foster was charged with theft in Woburn District Court and given $1,000 bail to get out of jail.
Investigators said at first that she returned a total of $547,187 in eight transactions at her job at Lovisa, a jewelry store in the Burlington Mall, last month. Burlington police said that the transactions were fake and that she marked up the prices of the items, returned them for the original price, and put the difference on her credit card.
Authorities say she then spent $5,000 on a Louis Vuitton purse, almost $6,000 on Delta Air Lines tickets, and $20,000 on a hotel in Maui, Hawaii. Then, police say, she spent more than $35,000 on a Tesla.
The prosecutor told the court on Friday that Foster messed with the store’s security cameras, which was new information.
When investigators dug deeper, the prosecutor said they found that the fraud happened on even more dates than they had thought. What started as a theft charge for half a million dollars almost doubled to almost a million dollars.
Thursday, police told CBS BOSTON that Foster was sloppy at work and rang up an order for $1 million that was never paid. A coworker saw how much money there was and told the police.
Wednesday, police searched Foster’s house in Boston and her room at Lasell College in Newton. She was arrested on campus and later released on bail. The car was taken by the police. It’s still not clear how much of the money they can get back. Investigators said that no customers were involved and that Foster did everything on his own.
According to court documents, Foster eventually told investigators that he had pulled the scam and apologized for it. The documents said that Lasell Police told Burlington Police that she had been investigated for similar credit card fraud to pay for school.
Foster was told by the judge to stay away from the store, the mall, and everyone who worked at Lovisa. Foster, who runs track at Lasell, is charged with theft over $1,200.
If she is found guilty, she could go to state prison for up to five years. She has to go back to court on May 5 for a pre-trial hearing.