A federal jury in Kansas City, Kan., on Wednesday convicted a Lawrence woman of taking part in a scheme to purchase stolen goods and later sell them on eBay out of the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass.
Jurors found store co-owner Carrie Neighbors, 49, guilty on all 16 counts she faced, including conspiracy, money laundering and wire fraud.
The government had accused her of knowing or being deliberately ignorant that goods, such as tools and electronics, sold from her store were stolen. During the six-day trial, federal prosecutors presented witnesses who said they sold merchandise to Neighbors at the Yellow House that they’d stolen from other stores in the area.
Prosecutors found from January 2004 to July 2006, Neighbors would pay about 50 percent retail value at her store for many items that were new and still in the box. She would resell the items on eBay for a profit. According to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office, she used some of the proceeds from the sale of stolen items to purchase others that were stolen and to make payments on her west Lawrence home.
The case also included conversations recorded by undercover Lawrence police officers.
According to Grissom’s office, Neighbors will be sentenced on Jan. 3. She faces these penalties:
Conspiracy: A maximum sentence of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
Wire fraud: A maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Mail fraud: A maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.
Both Neighbors and her husband, Guy Neighbors, face charges in the case. But Guy Neighbors’ trial is on hold because he has not been declared mentally competent to stand trial.
For nearly five years, the couple have accused police and prosecutors of corruption and repeatedly said they did not knowingly purchase stolen goods.
The couple also face charges in two other federal cases. In those, prosecutors accuse the couple of manufacturing marijuana and obstructing a theft investigation.