Retail theft ringleader sentenced


Date: May 9, 2024


A Tulsa woman who led a large retail theft operation was sentenced today for one count of conspiracy; 165 counts of wire fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering; and 40 counts relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Linda Ann Been, to 64 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Frizzell further ordered Been to pay $43,197.76 in restitution.

According to court documents, Been was indicted with 23 co-defendants in January 2022 and pled guilty in July 2022. Operation Booster Buster was a national investigation targeting a retail theft ring and its conspiracy to distribute stolen property throughout the country. Been paid “boosters” to steal property from various retail stores, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, CVS, Walgreens, and others. She then sold and shipped the stolen property to various operations outside of Oklahoma, where they would be sold online.

Been recruited the boosters and coached them on what to shoplift. She would then pay the boosters for the stolen property. If a booster was arrested, Been would either pay their bond or put money on their jail account to ensure the person would not cooperate with law enforcement.

Twenty of Been’s co-defendants pled guilty and have been sentenced.

Been was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reagan V. Reininger prosecuted the case.