On Thursday, Wasim Shazad (pictured), owner of V Jewelers on Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row, pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and failure to file record of financial transactions in Pennsylvania federal court, according to a statement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and online court records.
He faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and full restitution paid to the IRS, the agency said.
According to an affidavit from an IRS undercover agent, Shazad made a series of transactions with the agent, even after he told the jeweler his income was derived from illegal drugs.
Among other comments, the agent told the jeweler “that he was looking for jewelry for himself and for his girlfriend, and that he would pay cash, as he ‘hustled for a bit cocaine and stuff,’ ” the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, Shazad sold the agent a platinum and diamond necklace (16.56 carats total weight) for $24,000, as well as a 2.01 ct. canary diamond and platinum ring for $23,000. Both sales were made in cash, and in both cases the jeweler didn’t file the required Form 8300 with the IRS.
The Form 8300 must be filed within 15 days of the receipt of more than $10,000 in cash in a single or multiple related transactions. More information on the Form 8300 rules can be seen on the IRS website.
In 2017, the Montgomery County district attorney accused Shazad of acting as a “fence” for local robbery gangs. According to a report from KYW radio, Shazad was eventually found not guilty of 34 counts, but he was found guilty on seven other charges, all of which were reduced to misdemeanors.
Shazad’s attorney did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.
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