Twenty-one jewelry stores received a total of 936 civil citations, and two jewelers now face criminal charges, as a result of New Jersey officials’ latest crackdown on local gold-buying operations.
This is at least the third gold-buying sting the state has conducted in the past two years. An Aug. 2012 operation resulted in citations for 12 jewelers; another six were cited a year later. And this crackdown likely won’t be the last—with the state Division of Consumer Affairs promising a yearlong investigation of how jewelers buy precious metals from the public, including further undercover operations and unannounced inspections.
The sting targeted stores in four local jurisdictions. Alleged offenses include not properly displaying metal values, not using Office of Weights and Measures–approved scales, and failing to issue the proper receipts. Each civil violation carries a penalty of $500–$1,000.
Two jewelers now face criminal charges related to the investigation.
Rakesh Loorkhoor, owner of International Gold Buyers in Edison, N.J., has been charged with criminal hindering and receiving stolen property, according to a spokesman for the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office. His store received 209 citations, according to a DCA news release.
Loorkhoor could not be reached for comment, but told MyCentralJersey.com that he followed the rules and hopes to get his case straightened out in court. He also said that his store had only received some 60 citations.
Robert Tudor, owner of Tudor Jewelry in Edison, N.J., has been charged with receiving stolen property, the spokesman added. His store was not cited in the DCA release.
A full list of the cited stores can be seen here.
“New Jersey’s cash-for-gold laws serve two important functions,” acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement. “On one hand they require jewelers to be transparent about their pricing and the evaluation of precious metals when buying from consumers. On the other hand, they help fight the sale of stolen jewelry by requiring the buyers to maintain a fully detailed record that can be provided to police.”