More students are under investigation after nine were charged for allegedly stealing money from the 7-Eleven on Rowan Boulevard through a debit system.
According to officials, $35,000 was reportedly stolen from the 7-Eleven after an employee credited his and his friend’s Rowan Cards with fraudulent merchandise returns.
Rowan student Kwadwo Brefo-Boateng was working at the 7-Eleven, and over a course of approximately 10 months, credited money from unauthorized returns to his and eight other students’ ‘Boro Bucks accounts.
“There’s more students, and they will be held accountable by the university,” said Joe Cardona, Vice President of University Relations.
Cardona said the university didn’t have a number of how many more students were involved, but he said they were still digging.
In December, Rowan reported to the Glassboro Police Department that there was unusual and suspicious activity regarding Rowan Cards at the nearby convenience store.
“7-Eleven called us and said ‘Something’s not right, there’s a discrepancy between our sales,’ so that triggered a deeper look into what was happening,” Cardona said.
Cardona explained that when a student goes to a store and swipes their Rowan Card, the amount is accounted for and at the end of the month Rowan sends a check to this vendor. Some vendors look at their sales every single day, others may not due so as often.
“Things were put into place that would flag any unusual transactions or merchandise,” he said. “It’s a team effort between Rowan and the vendors.”
The investigation watched patterns of sales over time, when suspicious returns for very large amounts raised red flags. It also tracked where else these students used their Rowan Cards.
A warrant for arrest was issued for Brefo-Boating with bail set for $7,500, full cash. On January 14th, the 21-year-old turned himself in and posted bail.
The following students were also issued a warrant for theft: Stephen Cobb, 20, of Pennsauken; James Mack, 20, of Sicklerville; LeaQuan James, 20, of Sicklerville; Malik Bard, 21, of Vineland and Jamal Clark, 20, of Pine Hill.
Cobb, Mack, Bard and Clark all turned themselves in shortly after Brefo-Boateng and were released on $1,000 cash bail. James turned himself in and was transported to the Salem County Jail.
Karina Florez, 19, of Atlantic City; Johnel Anderson, 23, of Sicklerville and Alim Bowden, 20, of Jersey City are also charged with theft in the case, and are summonsed to appear in court.
As for how the students can be charged, it depends on how much was stolen. $200 can result in a misdemeanor, but over $2,000 can be a felony, resulting in jail time.
Cardona said the students charged will go to court and part of their penalty will likely be retribution. He went on to say they most likely will be fined, put on probation and/or potentially serve time.
Due to a federal policy rule, Rowan University cannot disclose disciplinary actions, but Cardona said that the school will hold the students accountable separately from the courts.
“We will continue to contact students that were involved and take disciplinary actions,” he said. “The lesson to be learned in all of this is that all of the students involved knew they were doing something wrong, so if you’re gonna do something wrong, you’re gonna get caught.”
Cardona said this was an extreme case with a weird combination of factors.
“There will be others,” he said. “There are students who make poor decisions every day and we ask them ‘What were you thinking’ and they say ‘Yea, that was a poor decision on my part.”