February 22, 2013

Slusher Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Scheme

An elaborate scheme to pawn stolen motorcycles off as "kit bikes" has resulted in a plea agreement from Bell County businessman John Slusher, 60, who pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

How it worked was the bikes were stolen from various areas of the country and disassembled and then reassembled and sold as retail.
The plea agreement states Slusher operated a pawn shop in Pineville and received 20 of the stolen bikes disassembled and sold them and held them for sale after reassembling. The bikes were sold to "innocent" purchasers for value.
The plea agreement states Slusher, along with others, removed the parts of the stolen motorcycle that identified the vehicle identification number (VIN). They would replace each of the parts or mill out the numbers and replace them with aftermarket parts and/or replacement part numbers.
The motorcycles would then be registered in West Virginia and Kentucky as "kit bikes" or "assembled bikes" to further conceal the fact they were stolen, according to the plea agreement.
According to the plea agreement, Slusher's involvement included 20 Harley Davidson motorcycles valued at approximately $386,000 and later sold 16 motorcycles to purchasers for a value of approximately $188,423.

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