HARRISBURG - A Cambria County businessman was sentenced Friday to 72 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering and fraud violations.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, evidence outlined in court revealed that since 2002, Gary Vaughn of Portage, through his business Gary's Steals and Deals, located in Blair and Cambria counties, trafficked in stolen merchandise. Vaughn pleaded guilty in December.
The merchandise, including items such as electric drills, MP3 players, vacuum cleaners, DVDs and electric toothbrushes, was stolen from retail establishments by drug addicts whom Vaughn used and paid as "runners," authorities said.
He then sold most of the merchandise across the country on eBay, an online auction service. Vaughn had large assets at his disposal to launder and use.
After he knew that his business was under investigation by federal authorities, Vaughn continued his fencing activities, taking steps to shield himself by attempting to portray his business as legitimate, authorities said.
"Law-abiding citizens expect the government to hold accountable those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with money," said Sybil Smith, acting special agent in charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation- Pittsburgh Field Office.
The case was investigated by state police and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation unit.
In addition to the prison time, Vaughn was sentenced to three years' supervised release and order to pay a forfeiture of $900,000 by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.