A STANWELL man who stole goods from shops to sell on eBay has been ordered to pay back £95,000 by a court.
Graham Pearce, 44, appeared at Kingston Crown Court on Friday March 4 to admit theft and money laundering offences.
Over a period of four years he systematically stole items, mainly books, DVDs and CDs from high street retailers, the court heard, which he then sold on e-Bay, often still in the original cellophane packaging.
He was issued a confiscation order to the tune of £95,000, and has to pay it to the court within six months.
DC Sheri Roberts said: "Friday's order sends a clear message from the courts that criminals should not benefit from their crimes and reflects the commitment of the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure that defendants pay back their ill-gotten gains."
Pearce was arrested in March 2009 for shoplifting books and CDs from Border's, which used to be situated in Market Place , Kingston. It emerged that he had also shoplifted books and CDs from WH Smith – valued at just over £300. More than £3,000 worth of books, CDs and DVDs were recovered in a search of his home address – mostly were brand new in the original packaging.
The officer in charge of the case said: "It became clear that it was more than just an odd bit of shoplifting, so police looked more deeply into his finances. It transpired that he had been selling similar such items on e-Bay for some time."
He was charged with the two shoplifting offences, possession of the criminal property and money laundering between 2005 and 2009 for selling stolen goods on e-Bay,a nd thereby converting goods into money.
In April 2010 he pleaded guilty to the shoplifting charges, possession of criminal property, and money laundering to the tune of £45,000. On April 28 2010 he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for the money laundering offence and six months for each of the other three offences to run concurrently.
If Pearce fails to pay, then the Confiscation Order carries a default sentence of two years, which he would have to serve and would still owe the money.