A Barrington man was convicted by a federal jury for leading a retail theft ring where over $20 million worth of products were stolen and sold online, prosecutors said.
Artur Gilowski, 48, of Barrington, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Gilowski was ordered detained immediately after the verdict was read late last month.
Prosecutors said that Gilowski’s co-conspirators stole tens of thousands of products, valued at over $20 million, from brick-and-mortar retail stores across the United States and then shipped them to Gilowski.
Gilowski then sold the stolen goods on various e-commerce websites, generating more than $11 million in profits.
The suspects traveled across the country in vehicles registered under false names and used booster skirts — garments with concealment pouches for stolen goods — and electronic transmitters designed to disrupt retailers’ anti-theft and loss-prevention measures.
Using aliases, they rented storage lockers where they kept the stolen items until they could be shipped to customers by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx, according to prosecutors.
Gilowski created a network of numerous online seller profiles, multiple bank accounts and various companies registered in other people’s names to conduct the scheme and funnel the proceeds of his operation to himself.
Prosecutors also showed during the four-day trial that Gilowski received over a million dollars in cash from his crime ring, including $97,000 that was found in the center console of his truck.
One of Gilowski’s coconspirators testified at trial that Gilowski “treated money like trash.”
“We are proud to hold these defendants accountable for their crimes, and are grateful to the jury for their careful consideration of our case,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad Meacham said.
“Organized retail crime leads to consumers having to pay higher prices for goods, fewer job openings, and a decrease in consumer spending on legitimate goods that small-business owners and other retailers depend on for survival,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Miller, HSI Dallas.
“Working alongside the U. S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Arlington Heights (Illinois) Police Department, we were able to secure today’s conviction, and take another step in our ongoing fight against organized retail crime so consumers and retailers don’t have to bear the brunt of those impacts,” Miller said.
Five of Gilowski’s co-conspirators pleaded guilty prior to trial.
Gilowski now faces up to 25 years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2.