A Fresno, Calif., man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $900,000 worth of goods from a Macy's department store and selling it over the Internet.
Richard Earl Norton Jr., 48, of Fresno, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill to interstate transportation of stolen property.
In his guilty plea, Norton admitted that from October 2005 to September 2009, he stole goods and merchandise including designer purses, wallets, satchels, and other items, valued at more than $900,000, from the Macy's store in Fresno where he worked. Norton admitted that he sold many of these stolen goods to buyers in other states through Internet sales using his eBay account and other Internet sales sites.
Norton directed buyers to make payments for these online sales to his PayPal account, and after receiving the buyers' payments, caused the stolen goods and merchandise to be shipped from California across state borders to the buyers in other states. He admitted that he knew the goods he was shipping interstate were stolen, that he had himself stolen the items, and that he obtained more than $900,000 from this scheme.
Norton also agreed in his guilty plea to forfeit to the United States the following assets:
(i) over a half million dollars in cash, consisting of approximately $346,610 seized from Norton's PayPal account, approximately $5,362 seized from Norton's bank accounts, and approximately $157,989 seized from Norton's residence;
(ii) Norton's residence, which is a house located in Fresno; and
(iii) vehicles consisting of two 2005 BMW Z4 cars, a 2002 Ford truck, a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire, and a 2007 Pontiac Solstice.
Norton is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2010. The maximum statutory penalty for interstate transportation of stolen property is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years supervised release.