I was an employee at a department store, a Girl I go to high school with came in and bought a very expensive handbag from me using a retail credit card, but indirectly i.e. the credit card number written on a piece of paper. Five minutes later she came back and returned it for cash. $2500+. It turns out she stole that number somehow, it was someone elses account, and that person was a customer I had helped earlier that day.
They accused me based on my arbitrary association with her, which they disclosed to me through a printed list of my Facebook friends, her name highlighted. I knew I had made a mistake in judgement by not establishing definite identification for the account holder but it was an everyday innocent oversight. But about a month after no longer working for the store, I was contacted and asked to come in to discuss “a very serious” Loss Prevention issue. Over the phone with the official, I was told that the case was wrapped up and if I did not come in to confront the issue and make a statement that night, I would immediately be arrested.
I went in and they revealed to me the fraudulency of the charge, camera photographs of The Girl, Facebook printouts of her on my friends list, and disclosed to me several pieces of the apparently vast & flawless collection of "evidence" notes linking me to the act. One, of course, being the fact that the victimized owner of the card was a customer of mine earlier that day. Another note was that I had strangely rung up the fraudulent customer at a register not in our department and cameras show that it was not busy, but filled with my co-workers and leads to the conclusion that I was concealing a suspicious transaction.
Despite my honest objections to involvement and unbelievable astonishment in the unfortunate pattern of suspicion, they insisted that I was absolutely guilty and there was no question as to my survival in court. They told me that I was headed to court and would undoubtedly be convicted of the charges. They were positive based on the rest of their supposed collected evidence, which they refused to share with me. If I confessed to them there and accepted an on-site arrest, I was told that I would recieve leniency within the courts and that it was my only hope. If I denied it and left, I would be arrested along with The Girl, publically by police officers at our high school the next day. The Girl involved would recieve her charge and consequence regardless and would not recieve the same "graceful" oppurtunity as I.
I was petrified but absolutely sure of my innocence. My father was arriving from his overseas home for the first time in a year, bringing my half-sister and stepmother for their first American trip and were going to be at my school the next day to see me. I was terribly frightened, oblivious to my rights and felt completely helpless and basically trapped against their threats.
Out of a panicked attempt to only contain the impact and avoid a heart-breaking scene in front of my family, I made a fabricated confession and accepted the arrest with a shaky assurance to myself that after The Girl was arrested, she would confess the scheme not involving me at all and I would be let free. But this girl was never arrested or even confronted about the incident. I am being held responsible for the entire amount of the bag and am facing a felony charge in less than a month.
I am part-time school and full-time work and was evicted last month from my mothers home so I dont have the money for prestigious attorney... I am very ambitious, hard-working and destined to travel and study worldwide. This act is not mine and would destroy everything I've dreamed of, everything I've ever worked for.