You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 6, 2017

Pawn Shop Owners Plead Guilty to Mail Fraud and Stolen Property Charges

PITTSBURGH - Two residents of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Qamar Zaman, 67, and Aliya Zaman, 48, both of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that the Zamans owned and operated Ninja Babcock, a pawn/resale shop in Ross Township, Pennsylvania. They are husband and wife. The Zamans knowingly and willfully purchased health and beauty aids (HBAs), stolen by opioid-dependent individuals from various commercial retailers, such as Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart and Giant Eagle, for pennies on the dollar. The stolen HBAs were then resold through Amazon.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for Aliya Zaman for June 29, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. and for Qamar Zaman for June 29, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both for each defendant. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Shaler Township Police Department and Ross Township Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of the Zamans.

Updated March 6, 2017