Gary Yee, 33, who operated Golden Sun Jewelry in West Bloomfield, Michigan, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and agreed to forfeiture $1 million dollars, according to a statement from United States Attorney Terrence Berg, after Yee allegedly failed to file the proper forms mandated by the IRS for large cash purchases.
The statement claims that criminal clients sought out Golden Sun Jewelers to buy items such as diamond encrusted watches for as much as $80,000 in cash based on Yee’s reputation for dealing ‘under the table’ and his agreement not to file required reports, including IRS Form 8300, which is required for cash transactions over $10,000.
The US attorney’s statement says that, in the early months of 2008, two federal agents, posing as marijuana dealers, made separate purchases of a $32,000 watch and a $40,000 watch in cash from Yee in the back offices of Golden Sun Jewelers. In both instances, Yee accepted cash payments of over $10,000, the U.S. Attorney charged, while assuring the undercover agents that “no paperwork” would be filed. A search of records showed that Golden Sun Jewelers failed to file the required IRS Form 8300s for the cash purchases of the watches.
IRS Special Agent in Charge Maurice Aouate stated that, “Narcotic traffickers, having a thing for the ‘bling,’ will seek out jewelers with the reputation to break the law and help conceal their illegal drug profits.”
A sentencing date for Yee is set for October 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm.