Under a plea agreement, a former Lakeforest mall jewelry store owner convicted of fencing was sentenced to one year unsupervised probation and was temporarily banned from the second-hand jewelry business in Montgomery County.
Kyong Cha “Mrs. Kay” Fromme, of Columbia, Md., was sentenced Thursday in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Fromme will also have to serve 50 hours of community service and will face a one-year jail term if she violates the terms of her probation, court records show.
Fromme was tried for paying cash for stolen jewelry pawned at her shop, the now-closed Royal Jewelers, and failing to keep proper records of the transactions. Instead, she made frequent trips to New York to melt down the jewelry for profit, Patch has reported.
“What Mrs. Fromme has done is really despicable,” said Asst. State’s Attorney Steve Chaiken, as stated in a transcript. “She’s allowed two thieves come into the store and she benefited from that greatly and financially.”
In defense, attorney Mark J. Muffoletto argued that Fromme, who waived her right to address the court, was overwhelmed by the extent of the state’s requirements for pawning jewelry due to language barriers. Reportedly, an employee in charge of handling such matters was reportedly fired for stealing money and was not replaced.
“There’s probably some kernel truth in that and also a lot of truth in the fact that she chose not to be informed about things so she could stick her head in the sand, take people’s jewelry and do whatever she wanted with it,” Judge Ann Harrington said, as stated in a transcript.
As part of the plea agreement, Fromme has already paid $77,000 in restitution to the victims and insurance companies. She also cannot apply for a license from the State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for five years, court records show.
Police were tipped off in June, when they arrested the so-called lunch-break burglar Andrew Tyler Olden, in Germantown who, according to his own court testimony, burglarized Upcounty homes during his lunch breaks in order to fuel a heroin addiction.
Olden and his girlfriend Kayla Myers told police that they went to see “Mrs. Kay” at Lakeforest Mall because she never asked for identification and always paid them in cash, court records state.
Olden claimed that Fromme would call him to find out when he was bringing in jewelry. The drug-addicted couple claimed they received more than $2,000 on one of the transactions.