Pawn Shop Owner Indicted in Scheme to Sell Stolen Goods on eBay
Allegedly Sold at Least $1 Million Worth of Stolen Items and Fraudulently Obtained Gift Cards
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Noel Eric Anshel, age 48, of Owings Mills, Maryland for selling stolen goods and fraudulently obtained gift cards on eBay. The indictment was returned on August 11, 2015 and unsealed today.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Brian Murphy of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department.
According to the one count indictment, Anshel operated Hilltop Cellular, a pawnshop located at 5450 Reisterstown Road in Baltimore. From no later than September 1, 2013 to April 1, 2015, Anshel paid cash to “boosters,” a common term for shoplifters, in exchange for items that he knew to be stolen property. This stolen property included faucets, garbage disposal units, drills, saws, digital cameras and televisions sets. Anshel allegedly sold the stolen property over eBay, often for less than the wholesale price for the items.
The indictment further alleges that boosters would also steal items from a store and return the stolen items to another location of the same chain in order to receive store credit in the form of gift cards. Anshel bought these cards knowing that the gift cards had been obtained by fraud. He then sold the gift cards over eBay.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $1 million, the proceeds of the fraud scheme.
Anshel faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for transporting stolen goods. An initial appearance was held this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Anshel was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service and the Baltimore City Police Department and Howard County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who is prosecuting the case.