Minnesota Diamond Seller Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Drug Offenses

Richard Allen Kay, 39, of Zumbro Falls, Minn., pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, money laundering, and transporting stolen gemstones, said a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kay, who operated under the name “Kay Diamonds” in Minnesota, offered a straight plea on all 13 counts, including one count of conspiracy to with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to engage in the interstate transportation of stolen goods, and 11 counts of money laundering.

According to the statement, Kay admitted that between January 1995 and March 2011, he conspired to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. He also said that from 2001 through 2009, he conspired with an employee of Sterling Jewelers in Ohio to transport stolen gemstones. He also admitted to 11 counts of money laundering, including structuring and involvement in drug-trafficking transactions.

Court papers also revealed the following information:

  • Four men from Rochester, Minn., acted as co-conspirators to the drug crime and have already pleaded guilty for their involvement. Among the convicted men include Jamie Allen Davidson, 40, Jason Ray Meek, 37, Shawn Robert Milliken, 32, and Brandon Christopher Lusk, 37.
  • The criminals face a potential maximum penalty of life in prison for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Kay faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison for transporting stolen property and a potential maximum penalty of 10 years on each money laundering count and five years on each structuring count.

Allen’s operation has no association with the retail chain Kay Jewelers.