Fitchburg Couple Opens Pizza Shop 2 Years After Conning Multiple Mentally Handicapped Men Into Running Up Credit Cards, Signing Over Social Security Check


This is Tracy and Shaun Barnjum from Fitchburg.

Two years ago around this time they were charged after trying to con three mentally handicapped men (2 of them successfully) they targeted into racking up thousands of dollars in credit card charges to buy jewelry, which they then bought for a fraction of the price and sold for more.

SourceA Fitchburg couple who worked at Whitney Field Mall were arraigned in District Court Wednesday after investigators say they allegedly convinced two mentally-handicapped men to rack up thousands of dollars in credit card charges, said police. Tracy and Shaun Barnjum of 76 East St., in Fitchburg face two cases each with charges of conspiracy and larceny over $250 from a disabled person. 

According to police, one of the mentally-disabled men told an officer in August he thought he was being used as he had been making thousands of dollars of purchases since meeting Tracy and Shaun Barnjum. The case was originally marked as a civil case, but further investigated when the man approached a different officer about a week-and-a-half later, according to police reports. The man reporting the incident said he met Shaun Barnjum, 38, who worked at Wild Life Express, the animal ride kiosk, near the end of July, according to the police report. Over the following two to three weeks police say the man was allegedly tricked by the Barnjums into opening store credit card accounts and purchasing $4,951 of goods benefiting the couple. The alleged victim also moved into the Barnjums house for three days and discussed making them the payee for his Social Security checks, according to police reports.

Another mentally-disabled man purchased $4,384 of items under the couple’s advisement, including a $3,846 necklace, police said. When contacted by police, Shaun Barnjum told them he purchased the necklace from the man for $300 then sold it for $575, claiming he did not know the true cost, according to the police report. An employee at Gold Buyers, which purchased the necklace, said Shaun Barnjum brought in the receipt for the necklace while negotiating for a higher price, police said. Both men purchased items from Kay Jewelers, where 36-year-old Tracy Barnjum worked and conducted the sale, according to police reports. 

Shaun Barnjum told police he was trying to help the two men. When first confronted by police, they said the victim they were discussing knew he had to pay for the purchases and they returned most of the items, according to a police report. According to the reports, Shaun Barnjum allegedly sent a third man with more severe mental impairment to his wife at Kay Jewelers. She asked him his date of birth and Social Security number, and the man said he did not know the latter. 

Do you understand how morally bankrupt you have to be to hatch out a scheme like this?

  • Find multiple mentally handicapped men
  • Open credit cards in their names
  • Let one of them move into your home for the purpose of stealing his social security
  • Convince the mentally handicapped man who just took on $4K worth of debt that he should sell you a necklace back for $300, then keep the $4K receipt to show the pawn broker that he’s getting a steal by only paying $575
  • Sit down with your wife and plot out how she will use her cashier job to make this all possible

This was just two years ago. If you ever get charged with a crime like this you might as well never show your face in civilized society again. But instead the Barnjums decided to do the exact opposite by opening up a pizza shop in town, spamming it on Discussing Fitchburg Now and Leominster Unites Facebook groups, and hope everyone forgot about the kind of people they are.

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“We’re all family here.”

Maybe you should come up with a different slogan if your Google trophies reveal that you once used a similar pickup line to get a mentally challenged man to move into your house for the purposes of stealing his social security. Just sayin.


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