4 local men arraigned for retail fraud rings involvement

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

Four local men were arraigned April 20 for allegedly pawing stolen items at two area pawn shops and on eBay.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Dearborn residents Spencer Szostak, 31, and Stephen Dodge, 31, and Deabrorn Heights residents Mounier Hassan, 41, and Ali Hassan, 33, in connection with the organized retail crime operations.

Steven Kilbourne-Bullion, 30, of Allen Park and Bilal Taleb, 37, of Lasalle, Ontario, also were charged as part of the three retail fraud rings.

According to Worthy’s press release Szostak was aided by Dodge and Kilbourne-Bullion as the trio purchased high value items from people stealing from Home Depot, Target, Wal-mart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, and Meijer stores in Canton. The men then sold the items through their place of employment at at U.S. Pawn in Dearborn Heights.

The investigation by the Canton Township Police Department led to the arrest of the three men.

Szostak was charged with one count of continuing criminal enterprise, two counts of use of a computer to commit a crime, six counts of organized retail crime, seven counts of second-hand dealer violation and four counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

Kilbourne-Bullion faces four charges, including one count of use of a computer to commit a crime, five counts each of organized retail crime and second-hand dealer violation and three counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

Dodge was charged with one count of use of a computer to commit a crime, three counts of organized retail crime, two counts of second-hand dealer violation, an three counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

The three men were arraigned April 20 in 35th District Court and each received $10,000 personal bonds. A probable cause conference is scheduled for May 2.

From January to April, Ali Hassan and Taleb worked at Platinum Pawn Shop in Southgate where they would purchase high-end merchandise that was stolen from big box stores around metropolitan Detroit, according to Worthy’s press release. Both men would then sell the stolen items through the pawn shop, an investigation by the Westland Police Department revealed.

Ali Hassan faces five total charges including one count of use of a computer to commit a crime, and two counts of receiving and concealing stolen property and four counts each of organized retail crime and second-hand dealer violation.

Taleb was charged with one count of use of a computer to commit a crime, two counts of organized retail crime, two counts of second-hand dealer violation and one count of receiving and concealing stolen property.

They were arraigned on April 21 in 34th District Court, and a probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 4. Hassan received a $5,000 bond, 10 percent, and Taleb received a $10,000 bond, 10 percent.
Taleb was also involved in another retail fraud scheme with Mounier Hassan, Worthy announced on April 20.

The pair were accused of purchasing high-end merchandise that was stolen from big box stores around metro Detroit and sell them through their place of employment at Bank Pawn Shop and exchange in Westland.

Through an investigation by the Westland Police Department it was determined the two men also sold the stolen items on eBay.

Mounier Hassan was charged with one count of continuing criminal enterprise, one count of use a computer to commit a crime, seven counts each of organized retail crime and second-hand dealer violation and four counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

Taleb faces six charges in this case including one count of continuing criminal enterprise, one count of use a computer to commit a crime, nine counts each of organized retail crime and second-hand dealer violation and four counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.

“The impact of these cases illustrate why the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is trying to form a Business Protection Unit,” Worthy said in the press release. “These crimes cause process of goods and services to rise, insurance rates increase, and businesses are reluctant to be community partners. So-called victimless crimes are a fallacy.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)