The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 26, 2013

Ex-pawn shop owner heads to jail

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — A former city pawn shop owner will report to state prison in nine days after being granted permission on Monday by a Northumberland County judge to complete a training course first.

Michael A. Cellitti, 53, who was sentenced to serve up to 5 years for selling stolen merchandise— and recently had an appeal denied by the state Supreme Court— appeared before Judge Charles Saylor on Monday for a change in one of the charges he was convicted of in 2010.

Cellitti was convicted of four counts of receiving stolen property, two counts of criminal conspiracy, corrupt organization, aiding the consummation of a crime, obstructing law enforcement and tampering with evidence.

He was sentenced to a prison term of 2 1/2 years to 5 years but remained free on bail pending an appeal, which included arguments of insufficient evidence and search warrant problems.

The aiding the consummation of a crime charge was changed from a felony three offense to a misdemeanor two charge of receiving stolen property, but that didn’t change Cellitti’s sentence.

The Sunbury man will turn himself in to authorities on March 7.

Saylor said the change in the charge was a technical compliance.

Cellitti requested 10 more days of freedom because he wanted to complete a training course in order to gain a certification for a job he has had while awaiting the decision of the state Supreme Court.

The former co-owner of M&J Cash Converter, Cellitti was arrested in 2009 along with three others who were accused of committing numerous burglaries throughout the Valley and selling thousands of dollars worth of stolen items at the pawn shop.

Co-conspirators Mark Brumbach, 28, of Sunbury, Nicholas Osman, 33, of Sunbury, and Michael Wagner, 30, of Northumberland, pleaded guilty and are serving lengthy prison sentences.