Several employees of a Northern Utah pawn shop have been charged with multiples felonies, including racketeering, following an investigation by law enforcement into their supposed illegal activities.
The employees allegedly would buy merchandise and store gift cards that they knew were stolen and then resell them through an online site. The employees have been charged with money laundering and engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity (also known as racketeering).
When a person participates in an unlawful activity at least three times, and the particular activities are related and/or have the same purpose, that individual may be charged with a first-degree felony. The pattern of unlawful activity statute is Utah’s version of the federal racketeering law, and the two laws are similar. Racketeering can be described as an organization that exists solely to commit crime.
A person may be accused of money laundering if he:
• Acquires, receives or transports a product that he knows was stolen
• Makes proceeds of the stolen products available to someone else, knowing that the money will be used to continue the illegal activity
• Performs a transaction involving the stolen property
• Accepts or receives stolen property knowing that it’s been illegally gained
The penalty for money laundering is either a second-degree or third-degree felony, depending on the part of the law that’s been broken.
Innocent Unless Proven Guilty
We wanted to remind you that just because a person has been arrested, it does not mean that he is guilty of a crime. These individuals mentioned will have the opportunity to have their day in court and provide a defense for themselves if they choose.
Have an Attorney on Your Side
No matter what criminal charges you are facing, you deserve to be represented by a top Utah criminal defense attorney. Even if you’ve made poor choices in the past, you can and should contact an attorney who will provide you with a vigorous defense. Make that important phone call today.