Rogersville pawn broker pleads guilty to improper record keeping

Jeff Bobo • Jul 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville businessman Rick Allen Stewart was sentenced Wednesday to 11 months and 29 days probation and fined $1,000 on charges related to improper record keeping at his pawn shop.

Stewart, 56, 316 E. McKinney Ave., Rogersville, owns and operates the Trading Post on Highway 11-W on the eastern outskirts of Rogersville.

He was charged in November on 45 counts related to failure to maintain required records of pawn shop transactions, as well as two counts of operating a pawn shop without a license.

On Wednesday, Stewart pleaded guilty before Sessions Judge J. Todd Ross to four of those counts, with the remaining charges being dismissed.

Aside from the probation he was also fined $250 per count for a total of $1,000.

Ross also granted Stewart a Title 40 diversion, which is an alternative sentence for first-time, nonviolent offenders. If Stewart completes the terms of his probation he can apply to have his record expunged.

In March of 2012, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office notified all pawn shops within the county that they would be required to maintain detailed and proper records of all transactions as required by Tennessee Code Annotated.

At that time, Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson also added manpower to the Detectives Division so that regular checks of pawned items for stolen property could be made countywide.

The HCSO accused Stewart of not keeping proper pawn shop transaction records and a ledger.

According to the HCSO, Stewart was warned at least three times about proper transaction record keeping at the Trading Post.

Prior to charging Stewart, the HCSO alleged that on a handful of instances stolen property had been bought and sold at the Trading Post before deputies had a chance to reclaim it.

The HCSO said Stewart sold stolen property and there was no record of who brought it to him or who purchased it.

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