Feds say Shinola worker stole, sold hundreds of watches

- A Shinola employee was charged last week with stealing and then selling hundreds of Shinola watches over a two-year period.

Judith Walker was charged in Federal Court on Thursday with stealing from and defrauding Shinola. She was also charged with wire fraud after a text message gave away her plan.

According to the documents, Walker started her scheme in 2015 and continued through at least January 4, 2017. Federal authorities provided one text exchange where Walker allegedly sent a message to a potential buyer where she would sell a $2,800 watch for $1,100.

"Tell your boy I have another pink one with the diamond regular $2800 his price 1100," the text message read.

The exact watch that the woman is accused of stealing and selling was not announced but Shinola's website lists The Canfield as pink with diamonds and is priced at $2,800.

"Consumers like my wife and I, who appreciate good quality, who appreciate putting dollars into Detroit have to be shown this, that's a shame," Shinola customer Myron Tink said.

The wire fraud charge carries a 20-year felony and is relatively easy for the government to prove. All they have to do is show that a crime was committed via text. computer, fax, or phone.

The feds fired an information, which generally means a plea bargain is in the works.

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