‘Jacob the Jeweler’ pleads not guilty

Jacob Arabov, founder of Jacob & Co, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to money laundering charges, The Associated Press reports.

Arabov, 41, known throughout the fashion and hip-hop world as Jacob Arabo or “Jacob the Jeweler,” was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia M. Morgan, who continued his bond at $100,000, the AP reports.

Arabov was arrested June 15 at his store in New York on a warrant issued in Detroit by federal authorities, who accuse him with conspiring with others to launder money in connection with a jewelry business.

Authorities say the 16 people indicted for conspiracy and laundering are connected to a drug organization called the “Black Mafia Family.” The gang dealt cocaine in the Detroit metropolitan area beginning in the early 1990s, extending across the country.
 
Arabov, a Russian immigrant, became popular among hip-hop and R&B artists in the mid-1990s after he attracted the attention of Notorious B.I.G., according to the Jacob & Co. Web site. Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kanye West, Madonna and Sir Elton John have all worn his gem-encrusted jewels and watches.