Connect with us

Headlines

Suspect Pleads Guilty in $500,000 Robbery of Traveling Salesman

Sentencing is set for Aug. 12.

mm

Published

on

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Bogota, Colombia, has admitted in federal court to taking about $500,000 worth of gemstones and jewelry from a traveling salesman.

Oscar Javier Rodriguez Roa, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate federal robbery laws. Roa had been extradited from Colombia to Pittsburgh.

Podcast: When Is It Time to Let an Underperforming Employee Go?
JimmyCast

Podcast: When Is It Time to Let an Underperforming Employee Go?

Podcast: This Advertising Copywriter’s Last Minute Pitch Changed <em><noscript><img src=
Over the Counter

Podcast: This Advertising Copywriter’s Last Minute Pitch Changed Everything

Podcast: Millennial Gem Trader Dave Bindra Steps Into ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Millennial Gem Trader Dave Bindra Steps Into ‘The Barb Wire’

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Roa was a member of an organized South American theft ring that targeted traveling jewelry salespersons in the U.S. and elsewhere.

On May 5, 2013, Roa and his accomplices drove from Lawrenceville, GA, to Western Pennsylvania in a rented car to set up the heist, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

On May 8, 2013, in Wexford, PA, Roa and his three accomplices accosted a traveling jewelry salesman from New York City as the salesman exited his car in the parking lot of a jewelry store, according to the release.

Roa smashed the rear driver’s side window of the salesman’s car, reached inside the car, and stole a black shoulder bag containing gemstones and jewelry. The other robbers punctured the rear driver’s side tire of the salesman’s car, kept an eye on the salesman, and drove the Nissan Maxima getaway car.

Advertisement

Flight records showed that Roa fled the United States on May 16, 2013, by boarding a flight in Houston, TX, destined for Bogota.

“This prosecution should send a message to would-be international criminals, if you commit crimes against Americans, we will find you and you will be brought to answer for your actions in the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Scott W. Brady, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones, and Chief Robert T. Amann of the Northern Regional Police Department.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 12. The law provides for a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Gene the Jeweler

When Gene the Jeweler Speaks, His Employees Listen

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s Gene the Jeweler series, Gene has a simple request for his employees. The good news is that they follow his instructions. The bad news is that they follow a bit too literally.

Promoted Headlines

Headlines

2 Accused of Selling Counterfeit Pandora Jewelry in $2M Fraud Case

mm

Published

on

BALTIMORE, MD – A federal grand jury has indicted two residents of Covina, CA, on a federal conspiracy charge, mail fraud, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

They’re accused of importing and selling counterfeit Pandora jewelry and Ray-Ban sunglasses in a $2 million-plus fraud scheme. Xiaoying Xu, age 34, a Chinese citizen, and Yiwen Zhu, age 34, a Chinese citizen and legal permanent resident of the U.S., allegedly conspired with others to defraud e-commerce customers in the scheme.

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store
Headlines

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face
Cullen Wulf

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?
Jimmy Degroot

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?

“These defendants allegedly imported counterfeit goods from China and sold them as legitimate merchandise using the registered trademarks of legitimate companies,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Those who traffic in counterfeit goods are committing a crime which results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen, and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”

The crimes are alleged to have occurred from August 2016 through approximately April 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The indictment alleges that the defendants used their residence and offices in El Monte and Alhambra, CA, as destination points for shipments of counterfeit goods shipped from Hong Kong and China. Xu and Zhu allegedly repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the U.S. who believed they had purchased authentic goods.

Advertisement

The defendants allegedly used fraudulent accounts set up with e-commerce marketplace companies to sell the counterfeit goods. Xu and Zhu allegedly obtained funds from the victims through fraudulently acquired customer accounts opened in the names of other people at a global online payment company. The online payment company sent the victims’ money to Xu and Zhu by electronic transfer to bank accounts or by check, which the defendants then cashed at ATMs, according to the press release. The indictment alleges that the defendants then transferred the proceeds of the scheme from their bank accounts to other bank accounts opened in the names of other Chinese nationals.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods; a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of six counts of mail fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of six counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. The defendants are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. No court appearance has been scheduled yet in Maryland.

Continue Reading

Headlines

2 Accused of Selling Counterfeit Pandora Jewelry in $2M Fraud Case

They allegedly defrauded e-commerce customers.

mm

Published

on

A federal grand jury has indicted two residents of Covina, CA, on a federal conspiracy charge, mail fraud, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

They’re accused of importing and selling counterfeit Pandora Jewelry and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Xiaoying Xu, age 34, a Chinese citizen, and Yiwen Zhu, age 34, a Chinese citizen and legal permanent resident of the U.S., allegedly conspired with others to defraud e-commerce customers, obtaining more than $2 million in the scheme.

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store
Headlines

Rooftop Burglars Take Everything from Jewelry Store

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face
Cullen Wulf

Video: No, I Won’t Help You Commit Fraud … But Thanks for Throwing Water in My Face

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?
Jimmy Degroot

Video: When Should a Jeweler Fire Someone?

“These defendants allegedly imported counterfeit goods from China and sold them as legitimate merchandise using the registered trademarks of legitimate companies,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Those who traffic in counterfeit goods are committing a crime which results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen, and American consumers tricked into receiving substandard products.”

The crimes are alleged to have occurred from about August 2016 until approximately April 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The indictment alleges that the defendants used their residence and offices in El Monte and Alhambra, CA, as destination points for shipments of counterfeit goods shipped from Hong Kong and China. Xu and Zhu allegedly repackaged the counterfeit goods, then mailed them to unsuspecting customers throughout the U.S.

The defendants allegedly used fraudulent accounts set up with e-commerce marketplace companies to sell the goods, misrepresenting to customers that they were authentic. Xu and Zhu obtained funds from the victims of the counterfeit scheme through fraudulently acquired customer accounts opened in the names of other people at a global online payment company, according to the release.

Advertisement

The online payment company sent the victims’ money to Xu and Zhu by electronic transfer to bank accounts or by check, which the defendants then cashed at ATMs, the release states. The indictment alleges that the defendants then transferred the proceeds of the scheme from their bank accounts to other bank accounts opened in the names of other Chinese nationals.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods; a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of six counts of mail fraud; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of six counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Continue Reading

Headlines

News Report Reveals Sordid Details of Alleged Sexual Harassment At Signet

It’s based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

mm

Published

on

A New York Times report reveals salacious details related to allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination within Signet’s Sterling Jewelers business.

The story, titled “The Company That Sells Love to America Had a Dark Secret,” is based on interviews with dozens of female former employees.

Some of the employees described being repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of men, according to the article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Others said they’d been sexually harassed.

One woman told the writer that a district manager coerced her into sex in exchange for a transfer she wanted.

A rape accusation is also described.

INSTORE reported in March 2017 that about 250 former employees of Sterling, which operates Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Kay Jewelers and Zales, were alleging that the company culture was rife with sexual discrimination and harassment. The claims were part of an arbitration case that dates to 2008.

Litigation is still ongoing.

In response to the New York Times story, Signet released a statement saying: “We’re disappointed that The New York Times decided to publish an article primarily based on decades-old allegations, and we believe casts our company unfairly. Signet is a recognized leader among companies for gender diversity, with women making up 74 percent of store management positions and full gender parity in both the [senior executive suite] and board of directors. Under the leadership of our CEO Gina Drosos, we are undeterred in our ongoing mission to champion diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority and in our multi-year business transformation plan.”

Read more at The New York Times 

 

Continue Reading

Most Popular