SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 55-year-old Bradenton realtor is accused of defrauding designer brand Lululemon of nearly $200,000 in athletic apparel, arrest documents allege.
Authorities said they began their “complex” multistate investigation in mid-April when an employee with Lululemon’s Organized Retail Crime Investigation group came forward with a suspect’s name.
The employee told investigators that 55-year-old Mark Tilley was placing online orders on lululemon.com using several credit cards, often under the name of other individuals, and shipping the orders to various addresses within his Magnolia Estates apartment complex in Bradenton.
In a majority of the orders, Tilley would use the same phone number to circumvent Lululemon’s fraud detection system, documents say. However, these purchases often linked back to an IP address, a unique address that identifies a device, connected to Tilley’s Gmail account.
Once the shipments were en-route, investigators said Tilley would update the delivery address to his community leasing office, where he would later pick them up.
Package in hand, Tilley would then process a fast-track return and send an empty box back to Lululemon. Once his return box was scanned into a local USPS self-serve kiosk, he would receive an E-gift card credit.
With the actual clothing left behind, Tilley would return the items to various brick-and-mortar stores in several states for an additional credit — essentially receiving double the credit for the online order returned.
Lululemon estimated they lost approximately $125,000 between October 2022 and April 17. Sarasota County detectives found Tilley had defrauded the company of $200,000.
Tilley was charged with grand theft over $100K.