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Store owner to plead guilty
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- Subject: Store owner to plead guilty
- From: Museum Security Network <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 24 Dec 1999 18:13:05 +01:0
- Message-Id: <199912241710.JAA25118@palimpsest.Stanford.EDU>
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Store owner to plead guilty
Proprietor of Ichabod's Books says she's sorry, plans to pay $150,000 for
By John C. Ensslin
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
The owner of a Denver used-books store will plead guilty to accepting stolen
books and pay $150,000 to competitors whose shelves were pilfered, she and her
lawyer said Wednesday.
Ichabod's Books owner Kathleen Gomendi said she feels responsible for what
happened but insists she was not aware her store was buying books from thieves.
"I trusted people; that's who I am," said Gomendi, whose store is on South
Broadway. "But you are responsible for the things that you do. I'm truly sorry
for the people who were hurt, especially my employees."
Prosecutors have alleged that Gomendi and three of her employees bought
thousands of dollars worth of stolen books, usually for one-sixth of their cover
Some of the books bought by Ichabod's were still shrink-wrapped and others had
stickers from the Tattered Cover's Lodo store, police said.
Ichabod's employees Jack Jensen, Joseph Kinneavy and David Lachman were charged
with theft by receiving. They have a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 24.
An undercover detective said he was able to sell several hundred dollars worth
of books to the store, even though he talked about "ripping and running" with
the new books in order to make a living.
The Tattered Cover, which suffered the heaviest theft losses, will get most of
the restitution money, said Denver district attorney's office spokeswoman Lynn
Kimbrough, who confirmed the terms of the plea agreement.
David Lane, Gomendi's attorney, said both she and the corporation will plead
guilty to one of the charges, which include conspiracy to receive stolen goods.
In an unusual move, prosecutors filed the charges Tuesday after a year of plea
negotiations with attorneys for the store owner and her employees.
Lane described Gomendi as someone who is well-intentioned and does a lot of
community work with the homeless.
Gomendi and her husband, David, bought the store seven years ago. The couple
moved to Denver from Houston, where he had worked in the oil business.
Gomendi became a member of the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers
Association (RMABA) and once served as the organization's treasurer.
She and her husband have performed as clowns in hospital pediatric oncology
units for kids with cancer.
Gomendi said her family and lawyer urged her to fight the charges, but she
decided against that.
Lane said the defense would have been based on the question of how a store
employee can know whether a book has been stolen.
Prosecutors, however, pointed out that the store paid $24,984 to one man and
continued to buy from him after he was caught stealing books from Ichabod's.
Lane said Ichabod's will remain in business and has implemented a strict set of
guidelines aimed at preventing the purchase of any more stolen books.
"The lesson to be learned here is that businesses should be sensitive to the
issue of buying stolen property," Lane said.
Contact John Ensslin at (303) 892-5291 or
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