April 17, 2020
Rochester, N.Y. – The federal government is looking to seize four luxury vehicles and more than $150,000 from the owner of a Dewey Avenue pawn shop charged with re-selling stolen goods.
Devin Tribunella, owner of Royal Crown Pawn and Jewelry, is facing federal charges. Prosecutors allege Tribunella and other defendants recruited those suffering from opioid addiction to steal items from retailers. They allegedly bought the stolen items at a fraction of their retail value and then re-sold them online.
Prosecutors say Tribunella knew the items were stolen, and allegedly made false representations in eBay and Amazon user agreements, as well as on the LeadsOnline database.
Tribunella and a Royal Crown employee are accused purchasing and selling more than $3.2 million in stolen goods. Prosecutors say Tribunella used more than $2,995,000 in proceeds to buy items such sports cars and jewelry.
The government says it’s looking to seize the following from Tribunella:
A 2008 Lamborghini
A 2014 Rolls Royce
A 2014 Mercedes Benz
A 2015 Porsche 911
A Rolex watch
A Patek Phillipe diamond-encrusted watch
A gold Cartier bracelet
A 14-karat, 21-ct diamond tennis chain and tennis bracelet
A 14-karat diamond cross
A 14-karat, 41.5-ct. Diamond necklace
More than $148,000 from two PayPal accounts
More than $7,100 from a Canandaigua National Bank and Trust account
Tribunella is facing charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, selling and conspiring to sell stolen goods across state lines, engaging in financial transactions involving the proceeds of an unlawful activity and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
He was arrested back in November, along with four others, in connection with investigations tied to two separate pawn shops. Royal Crown employee Wade Shadders was also charged, while Thomas Nary, Eric Finnefrock and Ralph Swain were charged in connection with an investigation at Rochester Pawn and Gold. Nary owned that business, and Finnefrock and Swain were employees. Prosecutors say, between January 2015 and August 2019, the Rochester Pawn and Gold suspects resold nearly $12.5 million in stolen goods.
According to court documents, Royal Crown was allowed to remain open for a year, despite not having a valid license. Tribunella’s attorney, James Doyle, says the pawn shop remained open as the feds and police conducted an investigation.
“We’re talking about 16 months,” Doyle said in February. “If you’re saying this business was killing people with respect to overdoses, aren’t you complicit? Do you not have a part in that?”
Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan said the punishment is a ticket and a fine, and that police cannot shut down a business for such an offense.
Four local violations from breaking town code were dismissed against Tribunella in February. As part of the agreement, Tribunella is barred from operating a pawn shop in Greece without a valid license.