Oregon mother and daughter scam Coke for $200,000

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by Kyle Iboshi, KGW News

KING5.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

ALBANY, Ore. -- An Albany woman and her daughter will have to pay back thousands of dollars after an elaborate scheme to rip off soft drink giant Coca Cola.

Police say the duo figured out a way to manipulate a bottle cap promotion and collect more than $200,000.

It’s a game many who consume soft drinks are familiar with. Beneath the cap of the soda bottle, there is a code. You go onto a website to find out if you've won anything. And in most cases, you haven't.

But according to police, an Albany woman and her daughter figured out a way to cheat and they won, time after time after time.

On Friday, 55-year-old Carrie Jones and 31-year-old Sarah Jones pleaded guilty to computer crimes.

Coca Cola investigators got suspicious in 2011 after tracking an unusually high number of winnings to a computer IP address in Albany.

Police said the suspects sold their contest prizes on eBay.

Investigators hadn't figured out how the mother-daughter duo got the winning prize codes.

"I speculate that there is more than Carrie and Sarah Jones involved in this situation,” said Detective Mike Wood with the Albany Police Department. “I mean, it boggles the mind that they could single-handedly fool a multi-billion dollar company like Coca Cola."

Coca Cola estimates it lost nearly $200,000. Police admit it's not clear where all the money went. The suspects will have to pay back almost $50,000 in restitution.

Neither suspect has a criminal history.

 

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