Assessment of H.R. 1173 – Organized Retail Crime Act

H.R.1173 states that “organized retail crime” is considered a criminal offense. Organized retail crime includes all of the following: (i) theft, (ii) embezzlement, (iii) obtaining by deception, (iv) fake pretenses, and (vi) other illegal means of obtaining merchandise in large quantities that would not normally be purchased for one’s self but for the distribution/ reselling of such merchandise. The bill adds criminal charges to the Act for the employment of individuals in an organized retail crime or transportation of goods. If in violation of the law set forth, the individual may be entitled to pay criminal fines as well as imprisonment of up to ten years. This act will require all internet market places to investigate allegations that goods they have listed on the site are stolen and keep the records of such items found stolen for up to three years. Alongside this law, the online market places may be required to keep record of all contact information, (up to three years) all records of sales for all high- volume sellers who sell in the market place, keep all contact information of the sellers, and present information to any company that alleges that the seller has received/distributed the goods through the bounds of organized retail crime. Any property found that is using a facility for the purpose of organized retail crime act will be subject to civil forfeiture.

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