Branko Bogdanov, 58; his wife, Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter, Julia Bogdanov, 34; were arrested by Secret Service agents at their Northbrook home on Tuesday. Each faces a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property in a criminal complaint that was filed in U.S. District Court. All three are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
The three allegedly sold stolen American Girls dolls, Furby toys, Legos and baby items over eBay for more than a decade. Officials said Lela Bogdanov would sometimes wear a long skirt with a specially-made lining with pouches in which she would place the stolen items. At times, the skirt "appeared larger and fuller when she exited various retail stores than when she entered" on surveillance video, officials said.
Agents say Barnes and Noble, Inc., executives said their stores sustained a huge loss in merchandise that included American Girl dolls, Furby toys, Legos, baby monitors and baby carriers. The feds worked with eBay to find online retailers who sold large amounts of these items, which led to them to the Bogdanovs, officials said. According to a release, "the amount of merchandise sold often matched the quantities of the same item stolen from one of their stores."
Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us, and eBay helped in the investigation, according to the release.
A man who says he purchased items from the Bogdanovs is also cooperating in the case, officials said. He sold $3.4 million worth of items with an estimated retail value of $6 million in the past 10 years, officials said, for Bogdanov, who was using an alias "Franko Kalath."
Feds said they seized several items in their original packaging.