Ringleader pleads guilty in pawn shop scheme

The "ringleader" in a scheme to sell stolen goods through Baltimore pawn shops and online auction sites pleaded guilty Monday to laundering $20 million in ill-gotten gains, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Jerome Ira Stal, 41, is the 11th person to take a plea deal in the three-year conspiracy. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for March 18.

Stal and 14 other men were indicted this spring on conspiracy charges alleging that "boosters" shoplifted various items -- including beauty products, medication, DVDs and tools – from Target, Safeway, Wal-Mart and other stores, then sold the goods to pawn shops.


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