Three men have pleaded guilty in connection with a major theft ring based in Madison County. The suspects were charged in federal court and admitted to their roles in using stolen credit card information from individuals and businesses to purchase merchandise, sell it below cost, and send the money to the ringleader in Mexico.
Pleading guilty to participating in a stolen property ring are 58-year-old James Litchfield, owner of Big Jim’s Autorama in Madison, his brother 37-year-old Ryan Litchfield of O’Fallon, Missouri, and 55-year-old Benedict Pellerito of Troy, Missouri. All three will be sentenced in June. Federal authorities allege the men worked with another suspect in the case, 42 year old Jason Parmeley of O’Fallon, Missouri, to use the stolen credit account information to purchase items from places like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s and rental stores. The items would then be sold for less, some through retail outlets and other items were sold on line. Authorities say some of the profits were then wired electronically to Parmeley who was in Mexico at the time. He has since been extradited to the U.S. and is in federal custody in Alabama on unrelated charges. Trial for the remaining defendants in the case is schedule for April 18.