BOSTON – A Burlington man pleaded guilty today to shoplifting more than $600,000 worth of merchandise from retail stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, then selling it on Ebay’s Half.com website.
John C. Strang, 67, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to interstate transportation of stolen property.
From at least 2007 through 2013, Strang shoplifted large quantities of merchandise - primarily books, audiobooks, and Lego products - from retail stores such as Barnes & Noble and The Paper Store. In total, Strang stole tens of thousands of items, with a total retail value of at least $600,000. He then sold them online at Half.com, an Ebay subsidiary, using the name “booksgoodtome.” Strang listed the stolen items at prices which were typically 40-50% of their retail prices. Strang then sold and shipped the stolen merchandise to purchasers throughout the United States. He routinely received payment of more than $2,000 every two weeks from Half.com.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 15, 2013. The maximum statutory penalty is 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, and Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.