A Canadian man has been indicted in a U.S. federal court in St. Louis after being accused of using sleight-of-hand methods to steal more than $64,000 from more than 40 Walmart stores across the U.S.
Thirty-seven-year-old Mohsen Akbari was indicted August 16th on one count of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.
Akbari was arrested on September 5th and pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday.
Authorities allege Akbari entered the U.S. on March 1 from South Korea on a visitor visa and later visited several retail stores to steal cash through sleight-of-hand techniques between late March and July of this year.
Authorities allege the suspect would make a small purchase and then claim that he and his family collect U.S. currency, typically $100 bills. Akbari is accused of then asking the cashier to show him the bills so he could examine them, before secretly slipping some of them into his sleeve or pocket.
The indictment alleges Akbari would deposit the money in a U.S. bank account and then wire funds to bank accounts in Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2023.
The Canadian Press