Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oregon mom and daughter guilty in Coca-Cola bottle-cap scam

ALBANY, Ore. – An Oregon mother and daughter who devised an elaborate scheme to scam Coca-Cola in a bottle cap promotion have been sentenced to probation and must pay back almost $50,000 to the corporation.

Carrie Jones, 55, and Sarah Jones, 31, were arrested after corporate investigators in 2011 tracked an unusually high number of winnings to a computer IP address in Albany.

During the promotion, which ran from May to August 2011, customers could text a code found underneath the cap of their Coca-Cola product to see if their code was a winner. Winners then emailed their winning code to Coca-Cola to receive a prize code, redeemable for things like concert tickets.

Prosecutor Coleen Cerda said the odds were against the city of Albany -- let alone one family -- getting so many prizes. Contest rules also specified that a person could win only twice and a household only five times during the four-month promotion.

To avoid the limit, it was alleged that the Joneses' manufactured email addresses using other people's identities. The prize codes were then grouped together and sold online on eBay.

The Joneses, the prosecutor added, never divulged where they got the winning prize codes.  More

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