Memphis GameStop Clerks Plead Guilty

Memphis GameStop Clerks Plead Guilty

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A group of naughty Tennessee store clerks have fessed up, after being caught in a police sting involving stolen merchandise.

Wednesday, eight GameStop employees who worked in or near Memphis pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the purchase of stolen merchandise earlier this year, according to a story in The Commercial Appeal. The clerks were caught in a sting orchestrated by police after law enforcement officials learned some of the company's employees in the city were buying games they knew were stolen property.

Court documents show undercover officers approached the on-duty clerks and asked if they would buy games, even after implying they were stolen. The clerks then provided cash from the register for the merchandise - albeit at a greatly lower than retail price. Anyone who's ever traded-in games for cash or credit should be accustomed to such practices. However, it should be pointed out, the difference - and it's a big one, legality-wise - is the clerks went through with the purchase knowing the items were purportedly hot merchandise. We're not talking hot like Diablo III or Halo Wars.

Each of the current and former GameStop clerks - ranging in age from 19 to 41 - were ordered to serve one year's probation with a chance to have their record cleared at the end of the sentence. GameStop, the world's largest video game retailer, has 18 locations in the Memphis area. Those stores are temporarily shutting down their purchase of used games for resale.

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Why the fuck are they giving the option for a clean record?

Ok, probation makes sense. Not tying up federal funds to incarcerate someone for a minor crime is much more efficient. But AS these buttwipes are not doing time, bending over for their cellmate Bubba and Dr. Fist, they are barely being punished at all. The only true punishment is a criminal record, which will for the rest of their life limit their job options.

That's a fair deal. They keep their anal cherry, and get a clean record at the end, its like they've never been punished. But staying out of jail and KEEPING the record means we have a nice red flag on their file, and employers know to keep a better eye on these idiots if they ever do get hired. No clean record says Khell.

Khell, relax. A criminal record basically screws you for life, and they already worked retail.

And it said they have a chance to have the record cleared. Much like a murderer sentenced to life in prison with a possibility of parole, probably won't happen.

I can't believe how thirsty for blood everyone is. Those kids were only doing thier jobs. Hell they probably would have been fired had they not taken those games. It's really sad how little sympathy they've been getting from thier fellow gamers. If you hate Gamestop then that's one thing, but these kids are just employees trying to make a living. Lay off eh?

Having worked in Retail...

We had a guy in yesterday who was basically scooping receipts, stealing the items off the shelves and then asking us for refunds.

Bottom line : If we can't get him to scram, we'd HAVE to give him the refund. Company Policy.

I'd take a close look at the Zero-Punctuation style, ex-Gamestop employee film on Youtube first. They most likely would have been fired for NOT accepting stolen goods.

Trying to make a living? They were knowingly purchasing stolen merchandise. Even at a hive of scum and villainy like Gamestop that's not considered OK.

I'm bothered by the fact that all these kids are losing is a job reference.

I'm not out for blood for the employees. I think we all know what's going on here, but perhaps they can't prove that Gamestop itself is responsible.

EvilEngineNumberNine:
I can't believe how thirsty for blood everyone is. Those kids were only doing thier jobs. Hell they probably would have been fired had they not taken those games. It's really sad how little sympathy they've been getting from thier fellow gamers. If you hate Gamestop then that's one thing, but these kids are just employees trying to make a living. Lay off eh?

The employees were 19-41 years old.

There's not much sympathy for grown men who knew better than do what they did, they just get more bashed for working at GameStop.

I never cease to be amazed when retailers treat their employees like poorly-trained dogs, and then act surprised when they act like poorly-trained dogs. I don't condone what they did, but as someone with a lot more retail experience than any one man deserves, I can certainly understand it.

Retail outlets, particularly major chains, often aren't staffed by the brightest bulbs on the tree, and my understanding is that GameStop encourages its employees to take trade-ins on games because that's where they make the real profit. So you've got an under-trained, poorly-motivated and low-paid guy standing behind the counter who's faced with a choice: Refuse this guy's games and probably get into a hassle with him and then get yelled at by his boss later because he blew the chance to bring in some games the store could've turned around for a nice markup, or just say fuck it and take the things.

It's easy to condemn what they did and obviously there has to be some penalty, but let's not waste time pretending there's been some great and shocking moral lapse here.

The age of the employees doesn't change the point. If you work in any retail outlet you basically get told to do anything to make a sale on one hand, and that you're the one that's screwed if you, say, sell an M rated game to an undercover minor on the other. Don't you think it's the store that should be punished and not the employees? Or at least stop condemning the workers for doing what is basically the only thing they can do to keep their jobs.

EvilEngineNumberNine:
I can't believe how thirsty for blood everyone is. Those kids were only doing thier jobs. Hell they probably would have been fired had they not taken those games.

No job can fire you for not doing something illegal. More to the point, if a job is asking/ordering you to do something illegal, do you really want to keep said job?

Now we don't know if gamestop knew these cashiers were taking in stolen merch, but we do know the cashiers themselves knew it was stolen. That's a crime, and crimes deserve punishment, no matter the motivation or reasoning behind what they did, it was wrong.

Khell_Sennet:
Why the fuck are they giving the option for a clean record?

Ok, probation makes sense. Not tying up federal funds to incarcerate someone for a minor crime is much more efficient. But AS these buttwipes are not doing time, bending over for their cellmate Bubba and Dr. Fist, they are barely being punished at all. The only true punishment is a criminal record, which will for the rest of their life limit their job options.

That's a fair deal. They keep their anal cherry, and get a clean record at the end, its like they've never been punished. But staying out of jail and KEEPING the record means we have a nice red flag on their file, and employers know to keep a better eye on these idiots if they ever do get hired. No clean record says Khell.

I agree that this is a bullcrap slap on the wrist.
I would just like to point out that people actually very rarely get raped in jail anymore.
Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine, that jail=rape belief system is why so many people try to kill themselves when they first go to jail.

Oh man, where to begin.

1. Gamestop encourages all employees to take in all trades no questions asked. If you want to prosecute someone, start with the regional manager and go up from there.

2. What does "implying that they were stolen" mean? Does shifting your eyes a lot constitute incriminating conversation? Did the police wink when they came in? Sounds like a really weak case to me. Maybe the clerks thought the guy was joking. Maybe they don't pay attention to every stupid little thing that every jackoff who comes into the store spouts.

Wow - I worked for a buy/sell/trade store all through college and we had a regular ring of thieves that populated a good portion of our stores by stealing from Wal-Mart using baby strollers to smuggle the goods out. Everyone knew they were stolen, but we weren't allowed to reject the trade-in unless they had been marked in the customer database. We were one of the few chains who actually worked WITH the police (to trade in, a customer had to provide a valid ID/Driver's License), yet the police never actually did anything. I wonder if this is the beginning of a crackdown.

I agree though, it's kind of unfair to punish the employees for the policies and practices of the company.

I guess I'm just more sensitive to this issue because I worked in retail and was consistantly pressured to sell games to anyone, even if they were underage. At the same time they'd take you in the back room and make you do training modules for underage sales. And as far as not wanting to work there, some people don't have a choice because they can't afford the down time while they look for another job, and don't have the time to do it after work. I've been stuck there before and I know what it's like and i feel sorry for those employees. If they were buying stolen games off the street then sure go ahead and rain all the vitriol you want on them, but in the context of doing their job it just seems completely unfair. Especially since there is no talk at all of holding Gamestop itself accountable.

ace_of_something:
Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine, that jail=rape belief system is why so many people try to kill themselves when they first go to jail.

SHH! We're trying to enforce that opinion, those suicides save us hundreds of thousands in taxes and deplete the surplus population. Gods know its one of the few things going right ever since we stopped natural selection.
/sarcasm... Sorta

ckeymel:
I agree though, it's kind of unfair to punish the employees for the policies and practices of the company.

I say again. If a company asks/orders you to do something unethical or illegal you have the right to refuse and they can't say boo about it. Go to the police yourself, talk to someone in the company above your boss, contact the news, they love that kind of thing, or consider that job ain't worth keeping if they put pressure on you to do illegal things as you KNOW when the shit hits the fans they'll hang you out to dry to save their own necks.

Khell_Sennet:
I say again. If a company asks/orders you to do something unethical or illegal you have the right to refuse and they can't say boo about it.

Have you ever actually worked in retail?

Story time! Back in the day, long time ago, Sunday shopping here was illegal. But a lot of retailers put on the pressure, some of the slack-jawed shopping public wanted it, so eventually the provincial government decided to legalize it. But to protect retail employees who couldn't work Sundays for religious reasons, or just didn't want to work on Sunday because it was the one day a week where they were guaranteed free time for themselves, their families, whatever, it was emphasized very clearly that no company could force any employee to work on Sundays if that employee didn't want to.

Right. And no company did force their employees to work on Sunday. But if you happened to refuse to work on Sunday - your right, mind you - well, then maybe you weren't terribly interested in working other days, either. Maybe you find yourself working the shitty night shifts that nobody else wants. Maybe your name comes up for cleaning the toilets a little more often than usual. Maybe suddenly your 40 hours a week becomes 28. But hey, you're not working Sundays, right?

The "get a different job" suggestion is fine too, assuming it's that simple. Maybe you're working in retail because you like it, or it's a temporary thing while you're in college, or you're independently wealthy but bored out of your skull; but far more likely you're doing it because that's what you have to do. You might not be qualified for anything else, or you might just be trapped in a shitty, overcrowded job market. Who knows? But picking up and walking away to something better isn't always an option.

Everyone should have to work at least a year in retail. Should be mandatory. There'd be MUCH nicer people in this world I can tell you that much. It's only after working retail that you realize how much of an @$$hole everyone really is, but they don't show it till they're pissed off at Joe Counterclerk for not licking his shoes when they walk into his department.

Hmmm, never worked retail but I know how large company's can be with call center staff. Basically all those labour law's? They bend them as much as possible. Even when they do break the law most people cant afford the lawyer's they can so don't take it to court. I can imagine anyone who has worked retail can tell some horror story's, there may be some ok company's but I bet most are a bitch to work for.
Did the clerk's benefit in anyway for accepting the stolen goods? Unless there getting a bonus for everyone they buy they have no motivation for the crime, unless the motivation is put there by the company or at least by local manager's who just want good profit figure's.
These guy's don't deserve a criminal record for this from the sounds of it.

Khell_Sennet:

EvilEngineNumberNine:
I can't believe how thirsty for blood everyone is. Those kids were only doing thier jobs. Hell they probably would have been fired had they not taken those games.

No job can fire you for not doing something illegal. More to the point, if a job is asking/ordering you to do something illegal, do you really want to keep said job?

Khell, usually I agree with you, but not here. Retail work is godawful a lot of the time, and keeping your head low is par for the course. Every shop I've worked in has broken some laws.

Now we don't know if gamestop knew these cashiers were taking in stolen merch, but we do know the cashiers themselves knew it was stolen. That's a crime, and crimes deserve punishment, no matter the motivation or reasoning behind what they did, it was wrong.

Ever had to face down a crackhead with a bundle of things he wants returning for a stupidly low price, knowing that if you don't, you'll get all the shitty jobs for a month?

Work one saturday night in a kebab shop and see if you feel the same way.

Story Time : One shop I worked in had six foot perspex sheets drop twenty feet to the floor that would kill anyone under it. No news.
One shop STILL has working temperatures of 29 degrees.
One shop STILL has asbestos.
One shop STILL has possible radon leaks.
Numerous shops never refuse a credit card sale, even if the signature/name is completely different.

Seriously Khell, if you can find me a shop in any country that sticks by all laws, please let me know.

Malygris:

Khell_Sennet:
I say again. If a company asks/orders you to do something unethical or illegal you have the right to refuse and they can't say boo about it.

Have you ever actually worked in retail?

I've done foodservice twice, retail/servie at a gas station twice, and pure retail once. I have had owners/managers who were dishonest, one of them to the point of being criminal. I've worked for people who are negligent, violate human/employee rights, served customers that known felons, drug dealers, pimps, thieves.

I stand up for my rights as an employee, I won't compromise my integrity doing something I consider unethical, and I have reported employers for law/rights/ethical/corporate violations.

So yes, I've worked retail. I've been in similar situations to these gamestop employees. I've been in management, and been ordered to overlook similar things, and ordered to instruct employees to do things like this. I refused them. Cost me a job once, o whell. Better to lose a crap job and move on then to have limited my career options by getting busted for some overweight assfuck of a boss who would have my neck in the noose and deny any involvement should things go wrong.

And just on a note of interest, working gas station jobs, you sell lotto and tobacco. Do you have ANY damn idea how strict regulations and punishments are with tobacco sales? If I get busted JUST ONCE for selling to a minor, or selling to someone bootlegging FOR a minor, I would loose my job, face criminal charges, and have a permanent life ban on ever working in any establishment that sells age-restricted items. No place that sells tobacco, alcohol, firearms (restricted and non) or pornography. That means no restaurants, hotels, gas stations, adult stores, bars, gun shops, superstores like Walmart or Canadian Tire, most sporting goods stores... Not that any of those are great careers, but consider just how many places I would not be allowed to work for ONE simple fuckup.

So yes, I know their situation, and damn them for slipping up. Let them rot.

Interesting article given the situation : http://www.gamebump.com/go/once_again_gamestop_pledges_to_cut_down_on_mrated_sales_to_minors

I'd be very interested in knowing how the agents let them know the game had been stolen.

Khell, what would you do if someone came up to the counter and wanted 20 cigarettes whilst a minor pushed his nose onto the glass outside? Just interested.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Khell, what would you do if someone came up to the counter and wanted 20 cigarettes whilst a minor pushed his nose onto the glass outside? Just interested.

Entirely situational. If I saw the man with the minor, if the minor was eyeballing the man or the cigs counter, or if I had any legitimate reason to believe the man was buying for the minor, then I refuse to sell. If I'm just my normal paranoid self, but don't have any cause to believe the man is bootlegging, I ID the man, and if I see him give the cigs to the minor, I call the cops now knowing the man's name.

One way or another, I'm going to grab the damn minor and make him clean the grease prints off my window.

Khell_Sennet:

Cost me a job once, o whell. Better to lose a crap job and move on then to have limited my career options by getting busted for some overweight assfuck of a boss who would have my neck in the noose and deny any involvement should things go wrong.

I really appreciate someone in the world who will stand up for what you believe in but that up there is the problem. Their situation might be different, you don't know all the facts so condemning them is wrong. Guilty until proven innocent is not how it should be. And I've been behind the cigarette and alcohol counter before and it's damned easy to refuse sales of those products as I have done MANY times to people too young or too drunk. Managers don't take you aside and tell you that if you don't meet your booze trade-in quota for the month that you'll be fired.

 

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