'We Buy Gift Card' stores connected to major theft ring - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

'We Buy Gift Card' stores connected to major theft ring

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The We Buy Gift Cards location on Preston Highway in Okolona. The We Buy Gift Cards location on Preston Highway in Okolona.
Benjamin Convers Benjamin Convers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A well-known Louisville businessman had his companies raided after police documents show they may have been profiting from a massive theft ring.

Gus Goldsmith and his son Blake have not been charged with any crime, but at least 50 people have been charged with their role in a gift card cashing scheme.

The Goldsmith's ran "We Buy Gift Cards" stores on South Preston in the Smoketown neighborhood, West Market in downtown and Preston Highway in Okolona. In December 2012, WAVE 3's John Boel was curious what that meant so he went in, undercover, but was unable to get much a response. When he asked the clerk what they do with the gift cards, she asked if it mattered. When Boel said it does to him, she responded, "I don't know."

We now know at least 200 of those cards have ended up in the hands of police. From December 19, 2012 until March 1, 2013 Louisville Metro Police kept surveillance on the stores. The search warrant indicate they found 77 different people, at least 50 of whom were charged, either admitted to or implicated others in what appears to be a giant theft ring.

The documents indicate all of them were stealing items from dozens of stores around Louisville, returning them for gift cards then cashing them in for anywhere from 5$00 to $18,000.

Police accuse one man, Benjamin Convers, 28, sold 72 gift cards to the businesses owned by the Goldsmiths.

Even after police say they warned workers inside the "We Buy Gift Card" stores of specific customers who were selling back gift cards they got by returning stolen goods, workers kept accepting them.

In total, police believe in just the three months of their investigation more than $115,000 worth of these kinds of gift cards were sold at the Goldsmith businesses.

Police in charge of this investigation say it's still ongoing so they cannot comment, but expect to add to the 50 arrests they've already made.

Investigators have not charged Ben or Gus Goldsmith with any crime. Gus Goldsmith had no comment when contacted by phone.

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