PORTSMUTH, Virginia — Federal paperwork present that three folks have been behind an operation to resell stolen items on-line in Hampton Roads.

The Portsmouth retailer was referred to as the Discount Empire and was positioned in procuring plazas round Excessive Avenue and London Boulevard.

In October 2021, Rashid ElHassani, Adil ElHassani, and Laura Ortiz have been indicted by a grand jury on costs together with conspiracy, cash laundering, and interstate transportation of stolen items.

The operation reportedly passed off over three years, from January 2018 to December 2020.

Shoplifters allegedly stole gadgets comparable to energy instruments, printer ink cartridges, electronics and razors from shops in Hampton Roads, together with Walmart, House Depot and Lowe’s, in keeping with court docket paperwork. These shoplifters took their wares to the Discount Empire.

There, the defendants paid for them in money figuring out they’d been stolen and listed them on the market on-line by their eBay and Amazon accounts.

Based on court docket information, the eBay and Amazon accounts linked to the defendants made greater than $5,000 in interstate gross sales of merchandise.

Based on court docket paperwork, a search warrant was executed in December 2020 linking two warehouses, Bergen Empire and Hampton, to Ortiz.

Inside the shop, police seized 1000’s of things, together with printer ink cartridges and energy instruments. This included a generator and saws related to Lowe’s on Victory Boulevard in Portsmouth.

In the meantime, police seized gadgets from the storage unit, together with laptops, electronics, and razors. Different gadgets included an upright vacuum cleaner linked to his depot at House in Virginia Seaside and a Chromebook linked to his Purchase Better of Newport Information.

The proprietor of a enterprise referred to as Discount Empire stated the shop was all the time busy.

“After they first got here in, I assumed it was like a consignment retailer,” stated the proprietor of Passions Unique Cutz and Stylez. [and] I introduced you one thing in a field. ”

“I assumed it was enterprise as ordinary,” he added.

Rashid ElHassani and Laura Ortiz have pleaded responsible to collusion. Rashid’s sentencing is scheduled for the top of this month and Ortiz’s sentencing for her in March.

WTKR reached out to attorneys for each on Wednesday, however each declined to touch upon the matter.

Adil ElHassani has not but been arrested and could also be in another country, in keeping with court docket information.

By Editor

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