A Lawrence woman who was convicted of selling stolen goods from the Yellow House Store, 1904 Mass., has been sentenced to serve eight years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia on Wednesday afternoon handed down the sentence to Carrie Marie Neighbors, 49, who was an owner with her husband, Guy Neighbors, of the secondhand store. She was also ordered to forfeit more than $616,000.
A federal jury in Kansas City, Kan., in September convicted her of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, 12 counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.
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 that 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.
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, but according to federal court records, assistant U.S. attorneys Marietta Parker and Chris Oakley on Wednesday moved to dismiss those cases against Carrie Neighbors.
Carrie Neigbors’ attorney has filed a notice to appeal the verdict.