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Pennsylvania Jeweler Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

He also admitted to failure to file a record of financial transaction.

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A jewelry store owner in Philadelphia has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and failure to file a record of financial transaction.

Wasim Shazad, owner of V. Jewelers on Philadelphia’s Jeweler’s Row, could be sentenced to up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution to the IRS, authorities said. Scroll down to watch a news video from WPVI-TV about the case.

He allegedly conducted financial transactions through a series of jewelry purchases made by an IRS undercover agent.

An agent bought jewelry from the store using cash and claimed that his income was from selling drugs, according to authorities. The jewelry consisted of a platinum and diamond necklace sold for $24,000 and a canary diamond and platinum ring sold for $23,000.

Shazad, of Norristown, PA, was accused of failing to report the payments to the federal government.

“Federal laws that regulate the reporting of financial transactions are in place to detect and stop illegal activities,” said Yury Kruty, IRS Criminal Investigation special agent in charge, according to Patch.

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Kruty added that the failure to report the transactions “promoted the use of ill-gotten gains within our financial system, which is a crime.”

“His admission of guilt today underscores law enforcement’s tireless commitment to enforcing these laws,” Kruty said.

Shazad’s legal troubles came to light in December 2017, when his store was raided by federal agents.

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Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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