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February 22, 2012

Beverly pawn shop owner charged

Beverly: Police say man sold stolen items, failed to report transactions

Police are accusing a Beverly pawn shop owner of accepting and then selling thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry, heirloom silver and coins, including a $100,000 diamond ring, that turned out to be stolen from homes in Hamilton and Gloucester.

And George Maroskos, the owner of JGM Numismatics Investments at 284 Cabot St., failed to report the transactions when they occurred and then misled a detective who was investigating the matter, denying he accepted some of the items, police said.

In a letter to the City Council, police Chief Mark Ray said Maroskos has been criminally charged with misleading a police investigation. Ray also asked councilors to revoke Maroskos' secondhand dealer's license.

Maroskos, 62, of Lynn, pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing yesterday in Salem District Court, where he was ordered by a judge to have no contact with the victim in the Hamilton case, a 77-year-old woman.

"On several occasions, the Beverly Police Department has determined that Mr. Maroskos conducted business in a manner which has aided criminal activity, misled police investigators and prevented crime victims from recovering valuable property stolen from them," Ray wrote.

Maroskos did not return a call to his shop seeking comment.

His attorney, Kirk Bransfield, said he had only just been hired by Maroskos and was still researching the case, but he questioned whether the law under which his client was charged applies in a case in which he allegedly failed to comply with a city ordinance.

In his letter to the City Council, Ray said Maroskos failed to cooperate with police in a recent investigation into the theft of several thousand dollars' worth of precious metals and stones from a Hamilton home. Ray said the thief sold many of the stolen items to Maroskos in five transactions over a three-week period.

According to court papers, the shop paid a young woman and her boyfriend nearly $7,900 over that period for items that included a Rolex watch, a silver tea service and silverware.

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