KC pawn shop owner sentenced to 1 year & 8 months for fencing over 14 thousand stolen items
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A pawn shop owner was sentenced in federal court today after engaging in a $744,000 scheme to fence more than 14, 500 stolen items and sell them on eBay.
Dennis G. Russell, a member of the board of directors of Rison of KC, Inc., which does business as National Pawn, was sentenced to a year and eight months without parole in federal prison.
The court also ordered Russell, 66, to pay a $100,000 fine and forfeit $744,000 to the government which will represent the proceeds from the scheme.
On March 24 of this year, Russell pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines.
Rison of KC is also charged with the same offense but has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Russell admitted to participating in purchasing items he knew were stolen from various retail locations to sell on eBay. This was a five-year long conspiracy from Jan. 1, 2017 to July 27, 2021.
The court release further explained that Russell shipped approximately 14, 672 stolen items across state lines.
According to the press release, multiple “boosters” stole items from chain stores such as Target, Walmart, CVS, Home Depot and many other retail locations.
The stolen items consisted of robot vacuum cleaners, textbooks, Roku and Google Chromecast television streaming devices and even Crest White strips, to name a few. The items were sold to Russell at a fraction of their retail price.
Russell then posted the stolen items for sale on eBay, using one of two accounts, and shipped them to purchasers in numerous other states.
Russell even continued his scheme during the coronavirus pandemic.
Court documents prove that the year 2020 was his most profitable year, selling 7,089 stolen items on eBay and receiving $324,842 in gross proceeds.
Russell only stopped his illegal conduct after a federal search warrant was executed at National Pawn and he was served with a target letter.
On Oct. 21, 2021, officers executed a search warrant at National Pawn and seized 3,400 items, which Russell and National Pawn do not contest were stolen property. Those items have now been been forfeited to the government.
Rison of KC has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Under the terms of that agreement, the business admits to the criminal conspiracy and accepts responsibility for the acts of its officers and employees. The government will defer prosecution of Rison of KC for that conduct during the three-year term of the agreement and will not continue with prosecution if the business fully complies with its obligations under the agreement, which include:
- National Pawn must keep a current list of all employees, all financial accounts, and all auction websites it utilizes
- National Pawn must obtain and retain a verifiable third-party receipt for any new product purchased
- Russell must not work at or profit from National Pawn
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