Former Detroit Shinola employee accused of stealing hundreds of watches to sell on black market

Judith Walker accused of stealing hundreds of watches from Shinola in Detroit

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ® , Derick Hutchinson
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DETROIT - A former Shinola employee is accused of stealing hundreds of watches from the company and selling them on the black market, federal officials announced.

Shinola was one of the first names attached to Detroit's comeback. When it started making high-end watches in the New Center building, Detroiters were the stars.

Profiles such as one in the Toledo Blade quoted Walker as enjoying her work at Shinola more than her previous work at the General Motors Poletown plant. She said she loved Shinola as a company.

Federal officials released information that suggests otherwise, as a three-page fraud charge accuses Walker of stealing hundreds of watches to sell for her own profit.

"Judith Walker caused an Apple iMessagge containing the following message to be sent: 'Tell your boy I have another pink one with the diamond. Regular $2,800. This price $1,100,'" federal officials said.

A plea agreement is being worked out, according to federal officials, so Walker is either going to plead guilty or she is willing to trade knowledge of the crime for a lesser sentence for her testimony if others are involved.

Either way, the normal arraignments and guilty pleas tend to happen all on the same day.

Hundreds of watches sold at thousands of dollars is a hefty haul, and federal officials want to get Shinola its money back. However, they claim Walker doesn't seem to have it and they're working out a forfeiture agreement.

So far, there's no court date set for Walker's next appearance.

Federal officials said Walker starting taking watches in 2015. She is 21 years old and lives in the city of Detroit.

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