A Friendsville, Tenn., man, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal for his part in a multi-state spree in which he and a partner stole boxes of cards from sports card shops and tried to sell them to other businesses.
Thomas Z. Kasemeyer, 34, pleaded guilty in April to charges of conspiring to transport stolen goods across state lines.
After his prison term, he’ll be on three years of supervised release.
According to his guilty plea agreement, Kasemeyer, along with his co-defendant, Coy Lee Best, committed a series of burglaries in Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky, where they broke into five different shops including Eddie’s Sports Treasures in Knoxville, TN, All-Star Sports Cards in Chattanooga, Nashcards in Nashville, Mt. Sterling Sports Cards in Mt. Sterling, KY and Kentucky Roadshow Shop in Lexington, KY.
In all, nearly $200,000 worth of products were stolen over a period of eight months.
After the burglaries, Kasemeyer and Best admitted that they would then travel, often across state lines, to other sports cards stores, to sell what they had stolen.
Prosecutors had asked for a two-year prison sentence for Kasemeyer.
In a pre-sentence memorandum, U.S. Attorney Carlton Shier IV wrote, “For the most part, these sports card stores are small businesses with little reserve capital to handle the loss of potential sales while insurance reimbursements slowly roll in. Additionally, store owners are forced to pay higher insurance premiums and reinforce their store security systems. Stolen merchandise availability on the secondary market also harmfully impacts prices and hurts legitimate business sales. Finally, the specter of late-night break-ins can cause unwanted anxiety for store owners and employees alike.”
In addition to his prison sentence, Kasemeyer was also ordered to pay $198,775 in restitution, representing the value of the merchandise stolen during the conspiracy. In May, Best was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in the scheme.
Under federal law, Kasemeyer and Best must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences. In addition to the $198,775 ordered for restitution, the Court also directed Kasemeyer to pay a money judgement in the amount of $30,000, reflecting his personal proceeds from the stolen merchandise.