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Judge sentences couple in Kohl’s customer reward fraud

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A New Jersey couple who admitted to defrauding a Kohl’s department store customer rewards program of $600,000 has been sentenced and ordered to pay restitution in federal court in Milwaukee.

Pavan Gurram was sentenced Thursday to a year and six months in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $450,000 in restitution. His wife, Vanaja Gattupalli, received six months of probation.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the couple used a computer program to steal cash certificate numbers belonging to Kohl’s customers. Investigators determined Gurram was the mastermind of the fraud and Gattupalli was his accomplice.

Gurram is a computer programmer from India who had been in the U.S. for about six years on a work visa. The couple will be deported to India after they complete their sentences.

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