WA Theft Ring Sold $10 Million on Amazon, Say Officials
According to court documents and FBI investigation information two Amazon drivers in the Seattle area were part of a theft ring that has sold at least $10 million worth of merchandise on the worldwide sales site.
Over the last six years, the ring operated out of various storefronts in Renton and Kent, WA. Two businesses posing as pawnshops reportedly handled the stolen merchandise. It was a complicated scheme, but revolved around shoplifted goods being taken from many stores including Home Depot, Fred Meyer, Lowes and others.
But the stores didn't sell any of these goods. After paying shoplifters to bring them the goods, they were repackaged and the two drivers helped take them to Amazon fulfillment warehouses where they were sold online under the names of "Bestforyouall" or "Freeshipforyou." This allegedly went on for nearly six years.
Police were first tipped off after reviewing sales records of one of the pawn shops, they noticed one of the drivers had 57 transactions with the shop. This seemed suspicious, and police learned he was an Amazon worker. Further examination of more records uncovered some of the scheme. One of the drivers was arrested, but was let go til later so authorities could continue their investigation.
The reported ringleader of the operation, and head of the two pawnshops, 44-year-old Aleksandr Pavlovsky, has yet to be facing charges however. Authorities are still awaiting more records from Amazon. The company has not officially commented.
So far, it appears to be the largest case of someone selling stolen goods on the websit in it's history. However, this has happened before to Amazon and other sites. It is not uncommon for smaller operations to attempt to fence stolen goods on legitimate sites.
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