Some items were bought, and legitimate sales receipts were then used to return high-end electronics that were stolen from Walmart stores across the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Seven people have been charged in a far-reaching scam involving fraudulent returns of vacuums, headphones and other products at Walmart stores, hitting the retail giant with more than $250,000 in losses.

The Michigan-based conspiracy is accused of thefts and fraudulent returns in 35 states. Smaller cities were targeted; places like Ammon, Idaho, Locust, N.C. and Gun Barrel, Texas.

Seven individuals are named in a 33-page indictment recently filed in Grand Rapids federal court.

Six of the defendants are from Benton Harbor and one is from Jackson.

Charges include wire fraud, a 20-year felony, and possession of stolen goods after interstate transport, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The operation is believed to have gotten underway in January of 2019 and continued through April of 2021, court records show.

In Michigan, Walmart stores in Eaton and…

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