AMEBSURY – A Woburn woman admitted Wednesday in Newburyport District Court she stole nearly $300 from the Macy Street Stop & Shop in 2019 by presenting staff with fraudulent receipts or counterfeit items to collect cash refunds on items she never bought.
The woman, Chelsea Tenan, 26, of Inwood Drive, Woburn, pleaded guilty to three counts of false creation or use of sales receipt and larceny under $1,200, and saw all charges filed for a year. If she stays out of trouble with the law during that time, the charges will be terminated, according to Judge Allen Swan.
However, her alleged accomplice, 45-year-old Alexander Bardash of Lowell, has vehemently denied any involvement with the theft. Bardash, who is being held at the Billerica jail on a separate matter, was expected to be in the court at the same time as Tenan for a bench trial before Swan.
But according to a court officer, Bardash was not brought to the courthouse, which prompted the bench trial to be postponed.
In March, Bardash was arrested by Tewksbury police and charged with fentanyl trafficking, possessing a class E substance with intention of distributing and driving while under the influence of drugs.
A Stop & Shop security official told Amesbury police Officer Teagan Davis that on four occasions, Tenan or Bardash would walk to the customer service desk and ask an employee for a refund for items they say they bought at the store. The two presented employees with altered sales receipts or counterfeit items.
“The fraudulent activity was later discovered after the two visited a separate Stop & Shop in Beverly,” Davis wrote in her report.
The Amesbury Stop & Shop security official showed Davis video footage of Tenan walking into the store three times between June 27, and July 26, 2019, and presenting fake receipts or counterfeit items. She used fake names when signing a receipt for the refunds and made off with $299, according to Davis’ report.
“During one of the refunds an employee became suspicious and asked the female party for identification. She produced a Massachusetts license identifying herself as Chelsea Tenan,” Davis wrote in her report.
At the time of her arrest in September 2019 she had four open cases of false creation or use of sales receipts out of Salem and Lawrence district courts. She also had four open larceny cases out of Attleboro and Lawrence district courts, according to Davis’ report.
Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.