IRS again investigating pawn shop owners

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Federal authorities have moved to forfeit cash and silver bars from an imprisoned pawnshop owner and his wife as part of an ongoing investigation of the business.

The criminal investigation division of the IRS is investigating Gary and Tonia Vaughn, who run Gary’s Steals and Deals in Somerset and other shops in Blair and Cambria counties.

Mr. Vaughn, of Portage, Pa., was sentenced in 2012 to 72 months in federal prison for paying drug addicts to steal merchandise that he then resold.

In January, agents again raided the couple’s Portage shop and the Vaughn home without explaining why.

In a forfeiture filing last week, the U.S. attorney's office said Mr. Vaughn and his wife are under investigation again on suspicion of selling stolen merchandise online from August 2012 to December 2013.

According to the filing, the Vaughns knowingly bought items that had been shoplifted from retail outlets and then sold them on eBay and Amazon.

Prosecutors said the Vaughns sold more than $100,000 in stolen merchandise. The forfeiture action seeks a court order to turn over to the government some $12,000 and 67 silver bars seized in the January search.

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