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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018

North Haven Man Sentenced to 54 Months in Prison for Role in Fencing Operation

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PAUL WILLIAM MUZYKA, 49, of North Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 54 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for his role in a large-scale fencing operation.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Muzyka and George J. Connelly, Jr., operated a licensed secondhand store, Ace Amusements, located at 42 Kimberly Avenue in New Haven.  At Ace Amusements, Muzyka and Connelly knowingly purchased stolen property from “boosters,” who typically were shoplifters with opioid addictions.  The boosters stole the goods from retail stores such as Home Depot, Target, CVS, and Lowe’s, and sold the goods at Ace Amusements for approximately one-third of their retail prices.  Muzyka and Connelly then resold the stolen goods at Ace Amusements, and also online at websites such as eBay.  Muzyka and Connelly also sold property to resellers, who then resold the property online using online websites.

The investigation revealed that individuals who purchased stolen items at Ace Amusements made at least $1.5 million in sales on eBay from 2007 to 2016.

Judge Shea ordered Muzyka to forfeit $73,143.91 that was seized from him during the investigation.

On March 16, 2016, Muzyka pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property and one count of interstate transport of stolen property.  He was ordered to report to prison on February 4, 2019.

On May 23, 2018, Connelly was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit the interstate transport of stolen property, and two counts of interstate transport of stolen property.  On October 1, he was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment and was ordered to forfeit an interest of $86,220.85 in a house he owns on Tuttle Drive in New Haven, $10,338.68 that was seized from his and Ace Amusements’ bank accounts, and $13,078.67 in cash that was seized from his person and from various locations inside Ace Amusements on January 25, 2016.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Connecticut State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut Department of Correction, Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, and the New Haven, North Haven, Milford, West Haven, Wallingford, Hamden and Orange Police Departments.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Pierpont, Jr. and David T. Huang.

Topic(s): 
Asset Forfeiture
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated November 15, 2018