A Southern California woman may be free of crow’s feet and brow lines, but that’s about all she’s got that’s free.
Forty-six-year-old Melissa Chesney, who has become known as the Botox Bandit, was arrested and charged with fraud, burglary and identity theft. Her crimes were, law enforcement professionals say, fueled by her obsession with the popular anti-wrinkle drug. She has been sentenced to five years in prison.
According to reports, between February and May 2009, Chesney went to Orange County salons and spas 17 times, using fake names and fraudulent checks to purchase bottom, body products and skin treatments.
Chesney pleaded guilty to 21 felonies, including nine counts of burglary, and was also ordered to pay restitution in addition to serving time behind bars.
Chesney’s reaction to her sentence was not clear – her face showed no reaction.
Business owners must be as vigilant about protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud as individuals are. Make sure you get proper identification when accepting checks, including picture ID – no exceptions.
Business people should also be sure to keep private records locked away in a secure location, not accessible to the public.
Many businesses accept debit and credit cards. Those who do should be extra careful to properly dispose of receipts and copies of transactions. Those documents include customers’ personal information, and should be shredded before disposal. You should also shred any documentation that contains your business information as well, prior to disposal.