Rochester man pleads guilty for his role in pawn shop conspiracy

 

Date: December 16, 2020

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

ROCHESTER, NY — Wade Shadders, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who is handling the case, stated that between October 2018 and November 2019, the defendant was an employee at Royal Crown Pawn & Jewelry on Dewey Avenue in Rochester, which is owned by co-defendant Devin Tribunella. As part of the conspiracy, Tribunella and Shadders engaged persons they knew were shoplifting (commonly referred to as "boosters"). They routinely advised the boosters what goods to steal from retail stores located in the Rochester area, including Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Walmart, and Wegmans. Once the items were stolen, the boosters would sell the stolen, new in-box items to Tribunella and Shadders at the Royal Crown pawn shop, for a fraction of retail value. Tribunella and Shadders then listed the stolen goods for sale on eBay using accounts registered to or controlled by Tribunella. The goods were advertised as "New" or "New-In-Box" and priced below retail value, but well in excess of the money Tribunella and Shadders had paid to the boosters for the stolen goods. Throughout Shadder's involvement in the conspiracy, Tribunella and Shadders purchased millions of dollars' worth of stolen goods from boosters, knowing such goods had in fact been stolen. Between April and November 2019, the two defendants sold and shipped approximately $1,561,000 worth of those stolen goods to buyers located outside of the State of New York.

Shadders and Tribunella were arrested in November 2019 for their role in the conspiracy. Charges remain pending against defendant Tribunella. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office; the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan; the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the Greece Police Department, under the direction of Chief Patrick Phelan; and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, under the direction of District Attorney Sandra Doorley.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2021, before Judge Siragusa.