A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to creating fake bar codes to dupe retail stores in eastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin into charging him discount prices for hardware equipment.
Jeremy Fishnick of Lancaster, Wis., pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
He admitted that he used a computer and printer to create Universal Product Codes that corresponded with less expensive models of products such as welders and generators.
He entered stores, put the phony codes on top of real codes for more expensive models, and purchased them for the lower price. He paid $149.99 for one welder that had a retail price of $889.99.
The scheme caused losses of $30,000 to retailers in Dubuque, Maquoketa, Anamosa, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Monticello and Prairie du Chien, Wis.