FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY - September 12, 2008
RALEIGH SHOPLIFTER FOUND GUILTY
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that a federal jury found SOMSAK SAEKU, 45, of Raleigh, North Carolina, guilty yesterday evening of two counts of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen goods. United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle presided over the two-day trial.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on October 10, 2007. SAEKU dismissed his attorney the day before trial began in order to represent himself. SAEKU has been arrested at least nine times in the last 15 years for larceny and has 22 documented incidents of shoplifting.
At least seven victims testified against SAEKU at the trial, including one witness who told of an incident in which SAEKU used a knife to avoid apprehension. Evidence at the trial also showed photos of volumes of “business-like shipping” documents and assorted stolen merchandise that was recovered during the investigation. The merchandise in his home, when searched, was organized in racks and bookshelves. He was found to have amassed assets of approximately $500,000 in addition to a home valued at $214,000.
The jury also forfeited SAEKU’s house, cars and bank accounts, less one investment account, to the government.
Sentencing has not been scheduled.
The maximum penalty for the wire fraud charges in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 is up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a penalty of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of gain. The charge of interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum fine of up to 10 years imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of gain.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Raleigh Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Gaston Williams and William Gilmore served as prosecutors for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.