New York, May 26, 2022 — New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the takedown of a massive retail theft operation in New York City that stole and resold millions of dollars in goods. As outlined in the indictment unsealed today, 41 people were charged for their roles in this crime ring that stole luxury clothing and goods and thousands of items from drug stores that were then resold on eBay. During the three-year joint investigation conducted by the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the NYPD’s Grand Larceny Division, law enforcement seized more than $3.8 million worth of stolen retail items from the enterprise’s alleged boss, Roni Rubinov, more than 550 stolen gift and cash cards, and more than $300,000 in cash. The defendants are being charged with various counts of enterprise corruption, money laundering, criminal possession of stolen property, scheme to defraud and conspiracy.
“Today’s takedown of this massive retail theft operation is part of our continued efforts to combat crime and restore an environment where all New Yorkers feel secure,” said Attorney General James. “These individuals stole millions of dollars in luxury goods and cleared the shelves of drug stores in the communities we live and resold these goods for great profit. We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to crackdown on crime and protect all our communities.”
“Today we are showing that New York City will not tolerate crime — street crime, retail crime, or organized crime,” said Mayor Adams. “Public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity, and so we want to be clear that we will investigate, arrest, and prosecute criminals when they break the law. This wasn’t just shoplifting, but people going into stores and clearing off shelves as part of an organized crime ring. This massive retail-theft scheme affected every level of our economy, from department stores to big chains to independent businesses — all of whom were already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Attorney General James for her partnership, the NYPD, and all our partners for working to make New York safer, stronger, and more prosperous.”
“The NYPD is committed to stopping anyone — and any enterprise — that threatens the well-being of the people we serve,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “We are proud of this long-term, intelligence-driven investigation and of our partnerships with the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and everyone who worked together to dismantle this criminal operation and arrest and prosecute its alleged participants to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Organized retail crime goes well beyond the obvious financial loss for retailers,” said Melissa O’Connor, president and CEO, Retail Council of New York State. “This activity has become a serious community safety issue and, unfortunately, it has gotten more prevalent over time. I want to thank Attorney General Letitia James for holding these crime syndicates accountable to the full extent of the law. This sends a bold message to those who continue to engage in unlawful and dangerous acts in local stores throughout the state. Our top priority is the safety of our employees and customers. We will continue to work with the Office of the Attorney General, lawmakers, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies to further our shared goal of safer communities.”
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