Crime

Man Found Guilty of Running $20M Retail Theft Ring

CrimeApr 19, 2022

Man Found Guilty of Running $20M Retail Theft Ring

Artur Gilowski, 48, made more than $1 million selling stolen merchandise online, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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Dallas—An Illinois man could spend up to 25 years in prison after being convicted of spearheading a multi-million-dollar operation in which merchandise stolen from brick-and-mortar stores was sold online. 

Following a four-day trial in late March, a federal jury found 48-year-old Artur Gilowski, of Barrington, Illinois, guilty of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.  

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas said Gilowski’s co-conspirators stole thousands of items worth about $20 million from stores across the United States. 

The thieves traveled across the country in vehicles often registered to fictious persons or tied to nonexistent addresses and used “booster skirts”—garments with concealed pouches— and electronic transmitters designed to interfere with stores’ anti-theft systems. 

They stole from Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Walmart, and Lowe’s Home Improvement, according to the indictment in the case. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the stolen merchandise was shipped to Gilowski, who sold it on various e-commerce sites—the indictment mentions Gilowski operating storefronts on Amazon and eBay specifically—generating a total of $11 million-plus in profits. 

To do so, he created numerous online seller profiles, as well as multiple bank accounts and companies registered in other people’s names.

Evidence in the case showed Gilowski made more than a million dollars in cash from his operation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, including $97,000 that was found in the center console of his truck. One of his co-conspirators testified at trial that Gilowski “treated money like trash.”

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The indictment in the case involved Gilowski was handed down in September 2019. It lists a total of 26 defendants, five of whom pleaded guilty prior to Gilowski’s trial. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the five who entered pleas were Sandro Kozlowski, Changcheng Li, Kaifeng Hu, Stanislaw Kobylarczyk, and Piotr Greszta. They all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property except for Hu, who pleaded to misprision of a felony (knowing about a felony and not reporting it). 

In addition, the husband-and-wife pair of Darius and Danuta Noskiewicz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property but are currently fugitives, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. 

Gilowski faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2.

He was detained immediately after the verdict came in, however, because he has a history of violence and is considered a flight risk, as he has “significant ties” to his native country of Poland, court papers show. 

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