Monday, November 21, 2016
KILL ALL GYPSIES! Bogdanov Parents given prison for multimillion-dollar, nationwide shoplifting scheme
The parents, Branko and Lela Bogdanov, came here decades ago without a penny to their name. Though they spoke no English, they worked hard to make something of themselves. Eventually, they earned enough money to buy a house in well-to-do Northbrook, drive nice cars and raise five children.
There was only one problem, federal prosecutors say: Virtually everything the Bogdanovs ever got, they stole.
On Monday, the couple were sentenced to federal prison for orchestrating a decadelong nationwide shoplifting scheme that netted millions of dollars of merchandise that they later sold on eBay.
Prosecutors alleged the family stole with startling efficiency from toy stores, booksellers and coffee shops from Maryland to Texas, with Lela often wearing a bulky black dress outfitted with compartments for stuffing large items.
In asking for sentences of up to four years in prison for the couple, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Havey noted that each of them had multiple theft convictions going back decades — but only now did they find themselves facing significant prison time. Describing Branko as the ringleader, Havey said that although he'd pleaded guilty, he never really expressed remorse.
U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood sentenced Branko, 60, to four years in prison and his wife, whose exact age is not known, to three years. In her remarks, the judge agreed that while they each apologized for their actions, she felt they were mostly sorry that they got caught.
In addition to the prison time, the judge ordered the couple to forfeit $2.8 million in ill-gotten gains and pay another $13,000 in restitution to Toys R Us and Barnes & Noble. Their $1.4 million five-bedroom home — seized by federal authorities — will go to pay down the forfeiture order, records show.
CLICK FOR MORE