Crime Confession To Dr. Phil Leads To Federal Charges


A California couple who confessed on the “Dr. Phil” television show that they were professional shoplifters have been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego. The Los Angeles Times reports that Matthew Allen Eaton, 34, and his wife, Laura, 26, told Dr. Phil on a show aired last November that they had roamed several states as shoplifters, stealing mostly toys, selling them on the Internet and making as much as $1 million over seven years.

“I’m no lawyer or a cop,” said talk-show host Phil McGraw, “but isn’t that a federal crime?” The wife paused a second and then said, “Yeah, it is.” A recording of that appearance is now central to the case against the couple. The indictment, for moving stolen goods across state lines, says the Eatons sold more than $100,000 using EBay and PayPal over a 12-month period — a crime that prosecutors call “e-fencing.” More than 500 boxes of toys and other things were carted off when investigators raided the couple’s home in suburban San Marcos.

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