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Jewelry Manufacturing Supervisor Charged With Money Laundering in Rhode Island

He allegedly used his position to steal precious metals from the company’s facility.




BOSTON – A manufacturing supervisor for a luxury jewelry company has been arrested and charged with money laundering in connection with alleged theft of gold, silver and platinum in Rhode Island.

Benjamin Preacher, 54, of North Attleboro, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Preacher was released on conditions following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston on March 15.

Preacher is accused of using his position to steal precious metals from the company’s facility in Rhode Island and then sell the metals to businesses in Massachusetts. The name of the company was not released.

The thefts allegedly occurred over a period of more than three years.

More from the release:

According to the charging documents, since 2018, Preacher worked fulltime in a supervisory position at a Rhode Island manufacturing facility operated by the company, which manufactures and sells luxury items, including jewelry made from gold, silver and platinum. It is alleged that Preacher used his position to steal precious metals from the company’s facility in Rhode Island and then sell the metals to various businesses in Massachusetts.

Specifically, from in or about March 2020 to March 2023, Preacher allegedly sold precious metals to a Canton-based metals dealer roughly one to two times per month – with sales to that dealer alone totaling more than $1 million. It is alleged that Preacher’s sales of stolen metals included $50,521 in 18-carat gold in March 2020; $21,821 in 18-carat gold, “Platinum scrap” and “Sterling” in April 2021; and $30,939 in platinum in January 2022.

It is further alleged that Preacher also sold more than $177,000 in stolen precious metals to a separate metals dealer in West Bridgewater between on or about May 16, 2023 and Nov. 16, 2023. This included gold sheets used by Preacher’s employer in a particular machine, which Preacher allegedly stole and sold, along with other gold scrap, for nearly $21,000.

Most recently, it is alleged that, approximately 30 minutes into his shift on March 1, 2024, Preacher was captured on company security cameras stealing a piece of white gold “flat stock,” measuring approximately an inch in diameter and approximately as thick as a quarter, valued at roughly $2,200.

Precious metal in scrap form were located and seized during a search of Preacher’s home on March 14, 2024.

The charge of unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the laundered funds. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Harry Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




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