A Milford Township couple pleaded guilty Monday to a lucrative scheme that involved buying and selling stolen health and beauty items out of their Quakertown Farmers Market-based (Q-mart) business.
Michael Gill, 42, pleaded guilty to organized retail theft and receiving stolen property, which are both third-degree felonies, while his wife, Denise Gill, 39, pleaded guilty to solicitation to retail theft and receiving stolen property, both of which are first-degree misdemeanors.
Sentencing for the pair has been scheduled for Sept. 21, according to a Crimewatch post published Wednesday by the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.
The Gills were charged last October following an investigation by detectives from the Quakertown Borough Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force, which “found they had enlisted people suffering from opioid and methamphetamine addictions to steal health and beauty products from retail stores,” the DA’s office said. “The couple then purchased (the products) at a fraction of the retail value and sold (them) for a profit.”
According to the news release, the Gills sold many of the stolen items through an eBay account associated with their store, One Stop Health and Beauty Shop.
“The couple sometimes purchased stolen items at the store, and on other occasions took delivery of the items at other locations along John Fries Highway in Milford Township,” authorities said.
As part of their investigation, undercover law enforcement officers conducted “multiple controlled sales of purportedly stolen items to the Gills,” the district attorney’s office said. “Police later recovered some of these items when executing search warrants at the Gills’ Q-mart store and County Line Road residence.”
“Michael Gill reported making between $2,500 and $5,000 each weekend in sales, including through the sale of stolen items, and buying about $1,000 in products from private sellers each week, according to a criminal complaint,” the DA’s office added. “Between March 2017 and March 2019, revenue from the eBay business came in at about $117,000.”
The case was prosecuted by Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Edward M. Louka.