America’s Auction Channel Employee Arrested in Jewelry Theft Scheme

CrimeJan 06, 2022

America’s Auction Channel Employee Arrested in Jewelry Theft Scheme

The employee was in charge of jewelry intake and allegedly gave stolen items to her boyfriend to pawn.

An employee of America’s Auction Channel and her boyfriend have been charged in a scheme that involved the theft and pawning of $100,000 and $200,000 worth of jewelry from the network.
St. Petersburg, Fla.—Broadcasting out of Florida, America’s Auction Channel hosts live auctions, televised and live-streamed six days a week, offering everything from jewels and gemstones to coins and fossils to the highest bidder.

When jewelry worth between $100,000 and $200,000 was noted as missing, the authorities were called.

After an investigation, America’s Auction Channel employee Monique Bigelow, 36, and her boyfriend, Reco Wallace, 34, were arrested and charged by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office with “scheme to defraud.” 

Bigelow was in charge of receiving and intaking the company’s jewelry, as per court documents, and was allegedly misreporting the amounts and values to remove items from inventory and keep them for herself to pawn.

The alleged siphoning off of items went on for six months, beginning in May 2020 and continuing until November 2020.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Court documents state that a manager was able to identify several pieces of jewelry that had been pawned as belonging to the company. Neither Bigelow nor Wallace was given permission to pawn the items, the manager said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office started the case by investigating Wallace after he had been recorded making “exorbitant amounts of pawn transaction,” as per court documents, including several “unique” pieces of jewelry.

Investigators spotted Wallace driving a 2007 Chevrolet Impala registered to Bigelow and later made the connection.

Wallace has been arrested several times for a variety of charges, including robbery and grand theft of a motor vehicle, as per sheriff’s office records.

The two were taken to the Pinellas County Jail on Dec. 27 on a charge of scheme to defraud. They are being held on $100,000 bonds.

America’s Auction Channel did not respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment on the case, but company founder and owner Jeremiah Hartman told the Tampa Bay Times that Bigelow was first hired in 2016 but then laid off, possibly by a department head, though he did not recall it being for an “atrocious” reason. She was rehired in the summer of 2018.

Another employee had lost his job after being falsely accused of stealing the missing jewelry, said Hartman, who urged fellow business owners to “trust, but verify.”

Hartman started the network in 2001 as a jewelry auction channel but later expanded its offerings.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Recorded WebinarsJan 14, 2022
Watch: What Will 2022 Bring?

Sherry Smith, Peter Smith and Edahn Golan join Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff and try to answer the question, how long will the party last?

EditorsJan 14, 2022
See a Few of Betty White’s Best Jewelry Looks

Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff celebrates the Golden Girl’s jewelry style ahead of what would’ve been her 100th birthday.

TrendsJan 14, 2022
All About Megan Fox’s Engagement Ring from Machine Gun Kelly

Designed by Stephen Webster, it’s a ring-stack take on the toi et moi style.

Brought to you by
Melee the Show Launches Tucson Event, Returns to New York in 2022

The boutique tradeshow, happening first in Tucson then New York City, brings together upscale designers from around the world.

GradingJan 14, 2022
GIA Names Anna Martin SVP for Institute, Industry Relations

She previously served as its senior vice president of business development and beneficiation.

Weekly QuizJan 13, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
TrendsJan 14, 2022
Piece of the Week: Made by Malyia’s Plunging Ocean Wave Hoops

Combining thoughtful design and wearability, they were a standout of 2021.

SourcingJan 13, 2022
Part of the Red Beryl Mine Is Producing Again, One Owner Says

Red Emerald Inc., which is under new ownership, started mining at the Utah site last spring.

Brought to you by
Rare & Forever Can Help You Tell A New Story At The Counter And Close More Sales!

A.I. technology is revolutionizing the jewelry business through more accurate and consistent diamond grading.

MajorsJan 13, 2022
Robbins Brothers’ Management Buys Back Company

The jewelry store chain was sold to a private equity firm as part of bankruptcy proceedings in 2009.