Sentencing in case that supported drug activity
A Warrick County man has been sentenced for his role in what federal prosecutors describe as a “large-scale theft conspiracy.”
Saying that his business helped fuel the demand for drugs, U.S. attorney Josh Minkler announced Wednesday that 42-year-old Michael J. Rupert of Newburgh was sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison.
According to a release, Rupert managed a Newburgh business called Deal Makers, which bought and sold valuable goods. Starting in July of 2013, Rupert was part of a conspiracy to steal high-end items from Evansville-area stores and then sell them on E-bay.
Other scenarios included having people buy high-end items with stolen credit cards and then return them with the receipt and obtain gift cards that Rupert would then buy from them.
In court, Rupert admitted that his actions helped many Evansville-area residents support their drug habits by paying them for stolen goods.
One of Rupert's co-conspirators, Kyle N. Hudson, was found guilty in federal court in February 2016.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who prosecuted the case, U.S. District Judge Richard Young also imposed two years of supervised release once Rupert gets out of prison. He was also ordered to pay $136,246 in restitution and forfeit funds seized in a bank account and a PayPal account he controlled.