Murray pawn shop owners plead guilty to money laundering, receiving stolen goods

Photo: Public Domain Pictures

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 5, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The owners of a Salt Lake Valley pawn shop have pleaded guilty to money laundering and receiving stolen property as part of a plea deal.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday that the principal owners of Big Dog Pawn & Jewelry, at 6610 State St., Murray, have entered plea agreements to felony charges after investigations into the pawn shop revealed unlawful activity.

A statement released by the Attorney Genera’s Office says that on June 19 of last year, Special Agents served search warrants on seven different pawn shops, one being Big Dog Pawn & Jewelry, “and seized several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of new-in-the-box merchandise alleged to be stolen from various local retailers.”

Monte McKee, 68, and Kelli Carpenter, 43, were charged with felony Pattern of Unlawful Activity, Money Laundering, and several Misdemeanor counts of Receiving Stolen Property.

“On February 8th, both defendants entered a Plea in Abeyance to the felony Pattern of Unlawful Activity charge and the remaining counts were dismissed,” the statement says.

“No judgment of convictions will be entered pending good behavior probation. Pursuant to the plea agreement, both defendants agree not to be involved in the pawn industry in the future, and Big Dog Pawn & Jewelry, Inc., which is no longer in business, will be dissolved.”

The defendants also have waived their claim on seized property, the statement says.

“Retailers who believe they were victims of retail theft and whose merchandise may have been pawned at that location are encouraged to file claims with the court in Third District Court case no. 180906356.

“In response to this investigation, Rep. Eric K. Hutchings introduced HB 394 Pawnshop and Secondhand Merchandise Amendments in the 2019 Legislative Session on February 21, 2019,” the statement says.

“This bill clarifies definitions regarding pawn shops, clarifies that a pawn or secondhand merchandise dealer may not accept certain property, improves the central database, limits the amount of transactions between a pawnbroker and an individual, and provides online training of shops and law enforcement.

“The Utah Attorney General’s Office would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies and local officers who assisted in serving the warrants and evidence seizures. Special thanks are offered to Supervisory Special Agents Chris Walden and James Russell of the Utah Attorney General’s Office and to Detective Parsons Metzkow of the Unified Police Department.”

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