A fifty-two-year-old man was charged with stealing at
least $457,750.82 over several years from Bass Pro’s flagship store in Springfield, MO. Eugene Black worked as a contracted vendor,
selling figurines and carved crafts at The Little Glass Shack inside the store.
According to News-Leader in Springfield, Bass Pro conducted an
internal audit on Feb. 17 and contacted police on Feb. 23 after finding discrepancies with Black’s business, The Little Glass Shack. Black owned The LIttle Glass Shack
for 20 years and leased space in the store.
Items from Black’s business would be bought at Bass Pro cash
registers. The point of sale system would record those sales using a special
“Black would review these sales totals and then submit
an invoice to Bass Pro Shops. Black submitted the invoices weekly. Bass Pro
Shops would deduct 20% from amount invoiced by Black to pay for the leased
space. Bass Pro Shops would then issue a check to Black for the remaining
amount,” a detective wrote in the probable charge statement used as the
basis of the charge.
During the audit, officers say the sales totals from Black
and the sales totals at the cash registers did not add up. Auditors believe
Black overcharged Bass Pro about $12,500 this year, nearly $168,000 in 2009,
nearly $131,000 in 2008, nearly $67,000 in 2007, nearly $60,000 in 2006, and
just under $20,000 in 2005.
Black was arrested and he admitted to overcharging Bass Pro because he was having
financial difficulty. Black was charged with one count of stealing by deceit. The
charge says Black is charged with taking “at least”
$25,000. If convicted he could get a prison sentence of between 5 and 15 years.
Bass Pro has refused to comment on the issue.