If I was working at a pawn shop that I now understand was buying and selling stolen goods, what kind of trouble am I in?

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If I was working at a pawn shop that I now understand was buying and selling stolen goods, what kind of trouble am I in?

I took role in this as an employee.

Asked on December 4, 2012 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Before you knew they were trafficking in stolen goods, you likely were fine--criminal liability depends on having a criminal state of mind (or "mens rea"), which in turn depended on knowledge or intent. Now that you know they are trafficking in stolen goods, however, if you are involved in any way in that process, you could face liability, including potentially as an accomplice or conspirator. You should stop working there immediately if you don't want to run the risk of criminal liability.


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