Sacramento, California - The lead defendant in a shoplifting ring that stole over $2.5 million in retail goods and resold them on eBay was sentenced today to seven years in prison, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. A restitution hearing is set for December 1, 2015.
Jason Samuel Schroeder, 36, of Sacramento, is the sixth defendant sentenced to prison in this case. Kirk Arthell Sanderson, 37, of Walnut Creek, was previously sentenced to four years in prison; John Judah Young, 34, of Sacramento, was sentence to two and one half years in prison; and David Reed, 29, of Vacaville, was sentenced to one year in prison. Two others, Andrea Lynn Turner, 34, of Roseville, and Joshua Roy Payne, 30, of Vacaville, were also sentenced to two months in prison. Jason Nathaniel Reed, 36, of Portland, Oregon, is scheduled for sentencing later this year.
On March 3, 2015, Schroeder pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property. According to the plea agreement, in October 2012, a sporting goods company with retail stores in Sacramento called the FBI stating that an eBay account was listing items for sale it suspected were stolen. Follow-up investigation revealed that the account was controlled by Schroeder using co-defendant Young’s name, and since 2009, it listed more than 17,000 items for sale, including sporting goods, household items, recreational equipment and pet care products. Most of the items were listed as new or with tags. Virtually all of the items sold on the account were stolen by Schroeder, Young, or others, and were sold at a discount to buyers across the country.
The proceeds of the sales were deposited into a PayPal account also controlled by Schroeder and then laundered through ATM withdrawals, cash-back purchases, and the purchase of more than $600,000 in money orders. Surveillance of Schroeder revealed that he spent multiple hours a day traveling to different stores and appearing to steal a variety of items. Those items were later listed on his eBay account.
Wiretaps and surveillance also revealed the specific roles of other members of the conspiracy. According to court documents, David Reed assisted Schroeder with the packaging and shipment of the stolen merchandise. Sanderson assisted in moving items away from Schroeder’s residence when he learned of the federal investigation. Turner and Payne provided false statements to federal agents upon being interviewed regarding their assistance to Schroeder.
“This case is a result of a combined law enforcement effort against a criminal organization motivated by greed and profit,” said Thomas McMahon, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “These defendants stole millions of dollars from retailers, which ultimately got passed down to the American consumer. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”
“Schroeder—well known to the loss prevention professionals in California and other states—brazenly and habitually shoplifted from retailers for the sole purpose of selling the stolen merchandise to unsuspecting customers online. The ring’s impact was significant and forever changed how a variety of goods are displayed at retail locations in both states,” said Special Agent Brandon Simpson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento field office. “We are thankful to IRS-Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and eBay for their partnership in this successful investigation.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan is prosecuting the case.