Cops say 17 Brooklyn jewelry stores — including the Yellow Hook shops Golden Art Fine Jewelers on Fifth Avenue and C&S Jewelers on Third Avenue — offered investigators cheaper prices if they paid in cash in an attempt to hide revenue from tax collectors, District Attorney Charles Hynes told reporters on Tuesday.
Investigators indicted Golden Art Fine Jewelers, which is located near the corner of 84th Street, and its president, Ghassan Maalouf, claiming they found a “significant difference” between the company’s business records and its tax filings between 2004 and 2007 — $129,131.96 to be exact.
Meanwhile, C&S Jewelers President Richard Capichano remitted $92,393.48 in unpaid city and state sales taxes after pleading guilty to knowingly submitting false documents for his shop, which is near the corner of 94th Street.
The sting — dubbed “Operation Bracelet” — also busted three Bensonhurst jewelers.
Investigators allege that the 86th Street shop Crystal Sparkse under-reported its taxable sales by a whopping $6.5 million between 2004 and 2007, allegedly avoiding $550,000 in sales tax.
The owners of Seville Jewelers on 86th Street and Valentino Jewelers on Kings Highway both pleaded guilty of falsifying business documents, remitting $100,248.98 and $52,497.97 respectively in unpaid taxes, according to the DA’s office.
Details about other jewelry stores implicated in the two-year-long sting have not yet been made public, as the investigation is ongoing.
None of the suspects returned calls.
©2009 Community News Group
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