Guilty-Pleading Jeweler Warns Others on YouTube

On Jan. 14, Pittsburgh jeweler Alan Kashi pleaded guilty to one count of failing to report large cash transactions to the Internal Revenue Service—and now he’s posted YouTube videos warning other jewelers to take heed of his example.

Kashi, owner of Kashi Jewelers, was accused of receiving $12,500 in cash for a Breitling watch last March and not reporting it, court documents say. Under IRS regulations, any business that receives a cash payment of $10,000 or more must file a form 8300 detailing that transaction to the IRS.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee president and CEO Cecilia Gardner notes that “cash” is not just considered bills, but bank checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks. A personal check, credit card, and debit card are not considered cash, she adds. The full regulations can be accessed here.

Kashi was “unclear to what the requirements were,” his attorney Stanton Levenson, told JCK. “But I think a lot of people are unclear.”

To make sure other retailers get the message, Kashi has posted a series of YouTube videos detailing his experience.

“[As a jeweler] I was attracting great clients and some not-so-great clients,” he says in one of the videos. “Some of the not-so-great clients paid in cash.… I was being used by criminals to dispose of their dirty money. Without any awareness, I was part of a money-laundering process.”

“Failing to file 8300 was my biggest mistake,” he continues. “Do you think that this can happen to you? Of course it can. I never thought it could happen to me. Be aware. Follow the government’s law because you could end up like me.”

Levenson says the videos have gotten 90,000 hits.

“One IRS agent told me yesterday that Alan has done a better job informing the public of the requirement than the IRS has done,” he says.

Gardner says we should expect more of these prosecutions. “[8300s are] something the government has been and will always be looking at,” she says. “It is extremely easy for prosecutors to prove these cases. You get $10,000 in cash, you have to file an 8300. If you didn’t do it, you’re guilty. It’s a federal law, and there is a $25,000 fine and potential five years in prison attached. Filing 8300s is not optional.”

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JCK News Director