Pawn shop owner arrested again


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A Utah County pawn shop owner is in trouble with the law again. Police accuse him of buying fraudulently obtained gift cards for pennies on the dollar.

Sgt. Gregg Ludlow of the American Fork Police Department said, "We were finding that suspects were receiving gift cards as the result of fraudulent returns."

Police say the pawn shop owner, David Bean, knew the cards were the result of criminal activity yet bought them and never logged them, as pawn shops are required to do. Now he could face charges of receiving stolen property and money laundering.

Pawn shop owner arrested again

Bean was arrested on similar charges in July. In that case he is accused of buying shoplifted merchandise and not issuing a pawn ticket. This time there is a new twist to what police say boils down to the same type of crime. Investigators say Bean was buying gift cards to big-box retail stores from shoplifters who got the gift cards for returning stolen merchandise.

"Through the investigation work we were able to see them actually steal the items from the store and then return the items and receive the gift cards," Sgt. Ludlow said.

Police conducted an undercover operation at the pawn shop yesterday and say Bean bought $1,000 worth of gift cards and violated pawn shop laws.

"Through searching of pawn records, we were able to see that Mr. Bean, who is a pawn broker in the state of Utah, had never completed any pawn records with the individuals who had received these cards," Sgt. Ludlow explained.

Police say they can account for $3,500 worth of fraudulently obtained gift cards in this case but believe it could be much more and involve more stores.

In the previous case against Bean, police say he bought items shoplifted from stores and then put them on the pawn shop's shelves.

Pawn shop owner arrested again

In the meantime, police are warning all pawn shops.

"I hope other pawn shops are paying attention to this, that these items that they are taking in from people that they know are proceeds from criminal activity, they need to be very careful because people are watching," Ludlow said.

Charges against Bean in the current case are still pending. The case from his previous arrest, involving charges of theft by receiving stolen property, is scheduled to go to court later this month.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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