Sacramento, Calif.- United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that five individuals have been arrested for their participation in a conspiracy to sell stolen goods on the internet going back almost a decade.
Jason Samuel Schroeder, 33, of Sacramento, John Judah Young, 32, of Sacramento, Joshua Roy Payne, 27, of Vacaville, Maribel Martinez, 27, of Sacramento, Kirk Arthell Sanderson, 34, of Walnut Creek, and David Reed, 26, of Santa Barbara, were charged by criminal complaint with participating in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Payne was also charged with lying to federal agents.
Andrea Lynn Turner, 31 of Roseville, was also charged but has not yet been arrested.
Schroeder was detained as a flight risk. Arraignment is scheduled for April 24.
“The investigation of this bold conspiracy has exposed a network of individuals fueled by limitless greed,” said FBI Sacramento Division Special Agent in Charge Herbert M. Brown. “We are especially thankful for eBay’s assistance with the investigation that ultimately led to these arrests.”
“This case is a result of a combined law enforcement effort against a criminal organization motivated by greed and profit,” said Jose M. Martinez, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge. “These defendants stole millions of dollars from retailers which ultimately got passed down to the American consumer. IRS-CI will continue to provide its financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”
According to the criminal complaint, Schroeder controlled an eBay account under John Young’s name that, since 2009, listed more than 17,000 items for sale. Most of the items were listed as new and/or with tags. The proceeds of the sales were deposited into a paypal account also controlled by Schroeder and then laundered through ATM withdrawals, cash back purchases, and the purchase of over $600,000 in money orders. Surveillance of Schroeder revealed that he spent multiple hours a day traveling to different stores and appearing to steal a variety of items. Those items were later listed on his eBay account. Reed and Martinez assisted Schroeder with the packaging and shipment of the stolen merchandise. Sanderson assisted in moving items away from Schroeder’s residence when he learned of the federal investigation. Turner provided false statements to federal agents upon being interviewed regarding her receipt from Schroeder of approximately $50,000 in proceeds from the conspiracy.
The investigation in this case is ongoing to determine the full extent of the fraud. However, the investigation to date has revealed that Schroeder and his co-conspirators have sold over $3 million in stolen merchandise over eBay, shipping items across the country.
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and five years in prison for lying to federal agents. The actual sentences, however, will be determined after conviction at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables
The charges are only allegations. Each of the defendants listed is presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty.