Connect with us

Headlines

Jeweler Accused of Scheme to Evade Customs Duties

He’s charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and with operating and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.

mm

Published

on

NEWARK, NJ – An India- and New Jersey-based man who operated jewelry companies in New York City’s Diamond District was charged with spearheading a scheme to illegally evade customs duties for millions of dollars of jewelry imports into the U.S.

He was also charged with illegally processing millions of dollars through unlicensed money transmitting businesses, announced U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Monishkumar Kirankumar Doshi Shah, aka “Monish Doshi Shah,” 39, of Mumbai and Jersey City was charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of operating and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business. He was arrested over the weekend and appeared on Feb. 26 before U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa in Newark federal court. Shah was released on $100,000 bond, with home detention and location monitoring.

More from the press release:

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2015 through September 2023, Shah engaged in a scheme to evade duties for shipments of jewelry from Turkey and India to the United States. Shah would ship or instruct his conspirators to ship goods from Turkey or India – which would have been subject to an approximately 5.5 percent duty if shipped directly to the United States – to one of Shah’s companies in South Korea. Shah’s conspirators in South Korea would change the labels on the jewelry to state that they were from South Korea instead of Turkey or India, and then ship them to Shah or his customers in the United States, thereby unlawfully evading the duty. Shah would also make and instruct his customers to make fake invoices and packing lists to make it look like Shah’s South Korean companies were actually ordering jewelry from Turkey or India. During the scheme, Shah shipped millions of dollars of jewelry from South Korea to the United States.

From July 2020 through November 2021, Shah operated numerous purported jewelry companies in New York City’s Diamond District, including MKore LLC (MKore), MKore USA Inc. (MKore USA), and Vruman Corp. (Vruman). Shah used these entities to conduct millions of dollars in illegal financial transactions for customers – including converting cash to checks or wire transfers. Shah would also collect cash from customers and use conspirators’ jewelry companies, which were also located in the Diamond District, to convert the cash into wires or checks. At times, Shah and his conspirators moved more than a million dollars of cash in a single day. In exchange for their services, Shah and his conspirators charged a fee. None of Shah’s or his conspirators’ companies were registered as money transmitting businesses with New York, New Jersey, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The wire fraud conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. The charge of operating and aiding and abetting the operation of an illegal money transmitting business carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Each count is also punishable by a maximum fine of either $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins in Newark; special agents with Homeland Security Investigations New York, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Erin Keegan; special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso; and officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of New York/Newark, under the direction of Port Director TenaVel Thomas, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York; Homeland Security Investigations in Seoul, South Korea; the Korea Customs Service in South Korea; the Seoul Customs Special Investigation Office in South Korea; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Paterson; the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department; the Morristown Police Department; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General; and the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marko Pesce and Olta Bejleri of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark, with assistance from William Kanellis of the Department of Justice Trade Fraud Task Force.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Moving Up in the World? Wilkerson Can Help You Get There

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular