Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paper boy bilks New York Times for nearly $325,000?

Maybe we shouldn't call him a paperboy, seeing he is 50 years old, but a La Crosse, Wisconsin, newspaper delivery man stands accused of bilking the New York Times of nearly $325,000, according the La Crosse Tribune. The Federal charges were filed against the La Crosse man because he submitted 8,500 fake subscriptions. According to the newspaper, "The Times began shipping the papers and sent invoices to the new subscribers, often to multiple names at the same address. When many of the bills began coming back as undeliverable and others went unpaid, the newspaper cancelled more than 3,000 subscriptions without receiving any complaints from subscribers."

It appears that at least the guy was green. Federal investigators reportedly learned that newspapers would still be in bundles in the man's recycling bin.

According to the New York Daily News, "A criminal investigation was launched after The Times discovered that customers in the area jumped from near 100 to the thousands and that many of the subscriptions had the same address, prosecutors said."

As of this spring the New York Times had the No. 3 circulation in the country with 1,077,256. No. 1 is the USA Today at 2,284,219 and No. 2 is the Wall Street Journal at 2,069,463.

UPDATED (11 a.m., 08-06-8): In other newspaper news, the Los Angeles Times reports that it got 127 million page views on its web site in July.

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