Wal-Mart arrests customer for trying to cash money orders

HOUSTON "They saw my story and they saw that I was innocent of everything that Wal-Mart had accused me of," Nitra Gipson said.

Two years ago Gipson, a TSU student at the time, sold her car to pay her tuition and in return received five Wal-Mart money orders totaling more than $4,000. Her attempt to try and cash them would cost her in a way she never imagined,

"I went to jail, just for trying to cash my money orders," Gipson said.

While the Wal-Mart bank verified the money orders were good and authorized the transaction, store employees took it upon themselves to play detective, decided the money orders were fake, and called police.

Gipson was arrested, charged with forgery and booked into jail where she stayed for several days, even though the money orders were real. Gipson says she was humiliated.

"I've only been a customer of Wal-Mart, that's it, a loyal customer of Wal-Mart and they basically failed me." Gipson

What's more, her attorney says Wal-Mart store employees are not trained to determine whether money orders are authentic and company policy forbids them from even trying. A jury decided Wal-Mart's actions were negligent and awarded Gipson more than $9 million.

"Wal-Mart basically did not have the proper authority figures to make this type of decision and innocently accused someone of forgery which is a felony and could have ruined her reputation for the rest of her life," Jury Foreman Anthony Jackson said.

Though she's somewhat reserved, Gipson is ecstatic and says justice was served.

Her victory, she says, is proof that no matter how big you might be "some things they have to pay attention to. Some things just shouldn't be overlooked," Gipson said.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.