SF Man Charged in Lego Scam Pleads Not Guilty

A San Francisco man charged with scamming Target out of pricey Star Wars Lego sets pleaded not guilty Thursday to 15 felony charges associated with a bar-code sticker rip-off

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, May 24, 2012  |  Updated 3:16 PM PDT
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SF Man Charged in Lego Scam Pleads Not Guilty

A San Francisco man charged with scamming Target out of pricey Star Wars Lego sets pleaded not guilty Thursday to 15 felony charges associated with a bar-code sticker rip-off, a prosecutor said.
Donald Michael Morales, 44, didn't show up to his San Mateo County Superior Court arraignment Wednesday, possibly due to an unclear date on his citation, but rescheduled for Thursday, said Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato, according to the San Mateo County Times. Morales wasn't taken into custody and is free on his own recognizance.

When reached by phone by the newspaper Thursday Morales declined to comment and hung up. Prosecutors say he changed bar codes on Lego Millennium Falcon kits in order to get them at steep discount at Peninsula Target stores. The kits normally sell for about $140 but with the doctored bar codes Morales allegedly got them for about $16 and then sold them on eBay at full price.
He was caught April 14 when a clerk a Redwood City store realized the price was too low to be correct, prosecutors said.
Though strikingly similar, the Peninsula case doesn't appear linked to an executive from Silicon Valley software firm SAP accused earlier this week of the same crime, officials said. NBC Bay Area first reported the case of Thomas Langenbach, a vice president at SAP.
Morales is due back in court June 28 to face 14 counts of commercial burglary and one grand theft charge, Serrato said.

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