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Jewelry Store Owner Admits to Tax Evasion

He faces up to 5 years in prison.

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ALBUQUERQUE – A jewelry store owner in Albuquerque, NM, has pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge.

David Castle, 76, owner and operator of the Gold and Silver Exchange, was indicted in February 2018 and  charged with obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws and tax evasion.

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At sentencing, Castle faces a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release, a maximum fine of $250,000, and restitution. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

Count 1 of the indictment charged Castle with perpetuating a scheme to evade and defeat the assessment and payment of taxes to the U.S. from December 2004 through January 2018.

According to the indictment, Castle:

  • Used several nominee businesses to conduct GSE’s financial operations to hide income from the IRS.
  • Executed the scheme by using bank accounts belonging to the nominee businesses.
  • Concealed personal income and expenditures.
  • Engaged in cash transactions.
  • Employed and paid GSE personnel in cash that could not easily be connected to GSE’s business operations.
  • Deliberately failed to keep accurate business records reflecting GSE’s income and expenses.

Count 2 of the indictment alleged that from December 2008 through December 2017, Castle attempted to evade federal taxes for the years 1992-93, 1995-2002, 2005, and 2006 in the amount of $104,446.81. Castle is alleged to have committed this crime by:

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  • Concealing from the IRS the nature and location of his business revenue.
  • Placing funds in bank accounts belonging to nominee businesses.
  • Emphasizing cash operations in order to place the revenue beyond the reach of the legal process.
  • Failing to file personal and business income tax returns or by filing false or frivolous tax returns.

On Friday, Castle pleaded guilty to Count 2. In his plea agreement, Castle admitted that from 2010 through 2013, while he was the sole owner and operator of GSE, he filed no tax returns for his business, his business provided no tax withholdings to the IRS, and he paid no taxes either for his business or his household.

Castle acknowledged relying on cash transactions to operate GSE, and using bank accounts that appeared to be unassociated with GSE to conceal the business’s revenue. Castle agreed that his criminal conduct resulted in a tax loss of $211,829 during tax years 2010 through 2013.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Sales Remain Strong, But Jewelers Moderate Expectations a Bit for 2019 Holiday Season

45% of jewelers in our survey say the season is in line with their projections.

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JEWELERS TEMPERED THEIR expectations for the 2019 holiday season as we entered the second week of December with about one in four store owners telling an INSTORE Mini Survey they had fallen behind target. That compared to just 14 percent who were similarly downbeat following a robust Black Friday opening.

Overall, sales were still strong though. Seven percent of jewelers said they were having a “terrific” season so far, 24 percent said it was better than expected and 45 percent said it was in line with their projections.

“Traffic is up but I was expecting higher traffic as this is our fourth Christmas and have really increased sales over the last year,” said Christopher Sarich, the owner of Noah Gabriel & Co. Jewelers in Wexford, PA.

Tickets continued to be strong with more than a third of jewelers saying their average sale was over $600, while a similar portion of store owners said their store traffic was up over last year (see charts below).

Diamond sales of all kinds — bridal, studs, design, fashion and lab-grown — continued to do well with almost half of the jewelers in our survey citing diamond jewelry as their best-selling item. Custom was also doing well.

“Custom! Everything from scratch to customized assembly,” said Jennifer Farnes, owner of Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO.

Given the overall health of the economy and consumers’ appetite for jewelry, this could also be a good season to move aged inventory, suggested Jill Hornik, owner of Jae’s Jewelers in Coral Gables, FL.

“This is the perfect time for an inventory reduction sale to get rid of old stock. We put over 200 items over 5 years old into our case normally designated for a silver designer, and have made 31 times the revenue we normally would within that same case space.”

The second 2019 Holiday Season Mini survey was taken on Monday by 112 independent jewelers who are part of our Brain Squad readers group. We will send out more surveys over the course of the holiday season. Look out for the results each Tuesday.

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Emma Stone Shows Off Unusual (and Affordable) Engagement Ring — Take a Look

The piece comes from New York-based Catbird.

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Emma Stone engagement ring

Emma Stone is wearing the Winter Pearl Ring, a piece from Catbird that retails for $4,780.

Actress Emma Stone recently showed off her new engagement ring on Instagram.

It’s a piece called the Kataoka Winter Ring from Catbird, and it sells for $4,780 at retail, the New York Post’s Page Six reports.

Stone is engaged to David McCary, segment director for “Saturday Night Live.”

According to Catbird’s website, the ring comes “straight from the Tokyo workshop of master jeweler Yoshinobu Kataoka” and includes “a lustrous pearl … surrounded by Kataoka’s signature snowflake motif.”

It’s described as an 18 karat gold ring with 0.37 carats of diamonds and an 8 millimeter untreated Akoya pearl.

According to Page Six, New York-based Catbird is a favorite among big names such as Meghan Markle and Taylor Swift, as well as Stone.

Forbes rated Stone as the world’s highest paid actress in 2017, when she earned $26 million.

 

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4 Dead After Jewelry-Store Robbery Leads to Police Chase and Shootout (Video)

2 suspects were killed, along with a UPS driver and a bystander.

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A jewelry-story robbery in South Florida led to a police chase and shootout that left four people dead, The Associated Press reports.

Police responded to a silent alarm just after 4 p.m. at Regent Jewelers in Coral Gables. Officers arrived to find shots being fired, with two suspects still on site, according to AP.

The robbers took off in a truck and shortly afterward carjacked a UPS truck, authorities said. A harrowing police chase ensued, continuing for 20 miles and ending at a busy intersection in Miramar.

When police approached the UPS truck, a shootout erupted, leaving the two suspects dead, along with the UPS driver and a person described as an “innocent bystander” in a nearby vehicle, AP reports.

“We have just began to process the crime scene,” FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro was quoted saying. “As you can imagine, this is going to be a very complicated crime scene.”

A jewelry-store employee was reportedly injured, but it’s unknown whether she was shot. It’s also unknown what, if anything, was taken from the store.

Read more at The Associated Press

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