Our Videos

June 9, 09

NEWS / Platte County Man Pleads Guilty to High-tech Fencing Scheme Merchandise Shoplifted, Auctioned on Eba

KANSAS CITY, MO—Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to organizing a scheme to shoplift merchandise then sell the stolen property on the Internet auction site eBay.

John Charles Chass, 41, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to the charge contained in a June 3, 2008, superseding indictment.

By pleading guilty today, Chass admitted that he was the leader and organizer of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to transport stolen property across state lines from February 2005 through December 2007. Chass recruited a group of “boosters,” who would steal merchandise from retail stores and deliver it to Chass, who paid the boosters for the stolen merchandise based upon a percentage of its retail value. Chass then advertised the stolen merchandise on his eBay Web site known as “stairway to the stars.”

The actual losses to retail stores resulting from this scheme were in excess of $70,000, but less than $120,000.

Six co-defendants have already pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Joshua L. Zimmerman, 23, of Kansas City, Stacie M. Emmerich, 34, of Independence, Mo., Barbara J. Sharp, 54, and Michael Dale Ivester, Jr., 28, both of Gladstone, Mo., and Tina Deann Cox, 39, and Daniel G. Moody, 31, both of Gower, Mo., have all pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, Chass pleaded guilty today to the interstate transportation of stolen property (related to the shipments across state lines of stolen merchandise), wire fraud (related to the postings of stolen merchandise for sale on eBay) and mail fraud (related to stolen property that was delivered by mail).

Under federal statutes, Chass is subject to a sentence of up to 55 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1.25 million and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Cowles. It was investigated by the Career Criminal Section of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, which also includes agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.



AnnaMaria Realbuto
Thank you for all your assistance and efficiency...
Read More »
Kateryna Melnychenko
Thanks a lot Anton!...
Read More »
Rani Payne
Thank you so much! I’m sure I will be in touch again with something else that will need to be apost...
Read More »
Serge Bauer Law
Thank you again for your help with this case!...
Read More »


What are the IRCA anti-discrimination and document abuse rules?
Read More »
What is a United States Congress?
Read More »
Will ICE be adding new degrees to the STEM Designated Degree Program List during the comment period?
Read More »
What if I need to travel outside the U.S. while my adjustment application is pending?
Read More »


May 24, 24
Death certificate of Michigan teenage killed in police pursuit lists trauma as cause of death
Read More »
May 22, 24
Premature baby born to US couple finally issued birth certificate
Read More »
May 16, 24
Bureaucratic snafu with birth certificate strands young US couple with newborn baby in Brazil
Read More »
May 13, 24
Apostille Convention to Take Effect in Rwanda in June
Read More »