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A theft ring in Washington state sold millions of dollars’ worth of stolen goods on Amazon.com in a cunning six year scheme with the help of two contracted delivery drivers for the e-commerce site, new court documents show.
According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Wednesday, two storefront businesses posing as pawn shops bought the goods from a cohort of thieves, then had the items shipped to Amazon warehouses where they were stored until being sold online.
Aleksandr - Pavlovskiy - Auburn - Ringleader - Scheme
Aleksandr Pavlovskiy, 44, of Auburn, was identified as the ringleader of the scheme in the documents, citing his two stores, Innovation Best and Thrift-Electro, as the epicenter of the scandal.
The entities associated with the store owner have amassed at least $10 million in sales on Amazon since 2013, FBI agent Ariana Kroshinsky claimed in her affidavit.
Charges - Investigators - Pawn - Shops - Home
No charges have yet been filed, however investigators have raided both of the pawn shops and the home Pavlovskiy.
A man identifying himself as Alex at one of the shops Wednesday told The Associated Press his business is legitimate, that he keeps good records and insisted he won't be indicted for any wrongdoing.
Items - Pawn - Shops - Amazon - Drivers
Among those who allegedly provided stolen items to the pawn shops were two contracted Amazon drivers.
As per their contract, the men were meant to driver to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, pick up items being returned to the company and then bring them to an Amazon warehouse south of Seattle, before delivering them to post offices for shipping.
Investigators - Goods - Pawn - Shops
But instead, investigators say they routinely stole the goods and sold them to the pawn shops.
Amazon did not immediately return an email seeking comment about the case Thursday.
Investigation - Summer - Police - Detective - Seattle
The investigation began last summer when a police detective in the south Seattle suburb was perusing a record of pawn shop sales and noticed that...
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