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Press Release


For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2014

Office of The Attorney General
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Steve C. Lee, Acting Director

Division of Law
Jeffrey S. Jacobson, Director
  For Further Information and Media Inquiries:
Jeff Lamm
Neal Buccino
(973) 504-6327

With Urban Cash-For-Gold Initiative, New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Alleges Nearly 10,000 Violations at 71 Jewelers and Other Stores, Confiscates 35 Scales

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NEWARK – The New Jersey State Office of Weights and Measures has brought its continued crackdown on "cash-for-gold" shops into the urban centers of Camden, Irvington, Newark, Paterson and Trenton, as well as to Teaneck, to protect cash-strapped consumers seeking to trade in their jewelry.

Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee today announced that the urban crackdown resulted in nearly 10,000 citations for alleged, civil violations of State consumer protection laws at 71 jewelry stores, pawn shops, and other locations.  In addition, officers confiscated 35 scales that were of types not approved for cash-for-gold transactions, or were not registered with the Office of Weights and Measures.

"This Urban Cash-For-Gold task force covered northern, central, and southern New Jersey, to ensure all consumers are protected when they sell their jewelry," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.  "The fact that our officers confiscated the scales used in nearly half of these stores demonstrates the great need to ensure these consumers are not cheated."

Surprisingly, a number of alleged "cash-for-gold" violations in Paterson were found at such non-jewelry stores as a bail bonds business, a sneaker store, and others. State law does not prohibit such locations from offering to buy jewelry from consumers, so long as they comply with all applicable rules.  

"Our priority is to protect the consumers of New Jersey, wherever they are, whether they are in urban areas, the suburbs, or other parts of our state," said Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee.  "With this crackdown, we're making sure that we protect consumers living and working in urban communities, like Newark, Trenton, and Camden, from cash-for-gold businesses that are allegedly violating the law.  We will continue to conduct enforcement actions in, and bring our consumer education efforts to, New Jersey's cities."

The six-city cash-for-gold crackdown included undercover operations in which Weights and Measures officers and county or municipal police visited stores in the guise of consumers seeking to sell their precious metals.  It also included unannounced inspections at the majority of stores.  These operations took place in October 2014.

State Weights and Measures officers worked with Camden County Police, Irvington Police, Newark Police, Paterson Police, Teaneck Police, and Trenton Police, as well as officers from the Somerset County Office of Weights and Measures, during each visit to a cash-for-gold store.

State Office of Weights and Measures Acting Superintendent Howard Pine said, "Joint operations between the State Office of Weights and Measures, local police, and the Somerset County Office of Weights and Measures expand our ability to protect those who sell their gold and jewelry, and help local police investigate the sale of stolen jewelry."

The Urban Cash-For-Gold initiative follows a crackdown announced in June 2014, at which Acting Director Lee announced a statewide investigation into jewelry shops that offer to buy precious metals from consumers.

Findings of the Six-City Cash-For-Gold Crackdown

The operation found alleged cash-for-gold violations of various kinds at the following locations.  

Alleged violations may have included failure to use a scale that has been State-certified and/or sealed to prevent tampering; failure to prominently post the prices offered for various precious metals; or failure to maintain serialized receipts with required, specific information about the buyer, seller, and/or precious metal items purchased; or for related matters.

The civil violations were filed as summonses in municipal court.  Each civil violation carries a penalty of $500 to $1,000.  The stores are not accused of criminal violations, and are instead charged with alleged civil matters.

In Newark (29 stores with a total of 5,436 alleged violations):

  • New City Gold & Diamonds, 178 Bloomfield Avenue:  Total of 1,150 alleged violations.
  • K&J Jewelers LLC, 86 Ferry Street:  Total of 861 alleged violations.
  • Bloomfield Gold & Silver, 312 Bloomfield Avenue:  Total of 772 alleged violations.
  • Gateway Cosmetics, Inc., 1 Gateway Center:  Total of 476 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • K&J Jewelers, 141 Bloomfield Avenue:  Total of 358 alleged violations.
  • Fast Cash Jewelers, 518 Springfield Avenue:  Total of 347 alleged violations.
  • Brick City Gold, 104 Market Street: Total of 255 alleged violations.
  • Rich & Sons / New Loan Co., 857 Broad Street:  Total of 199 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized three scales from this business.
  • Ironbound Pawn Shop, 188 Ferry Street:  Total of 151 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Mr. Gold Inc., 831 Broad Street:  Total of 109 alleged violations.
  • Cosmetic House, 166 Market Street:  Total of 89 alleged violations.
  • New City Gold & Diamonds, 526 Central Avenue: 87 alleged violations.
  • Vinhas Jewelers, 197 Ferry Street:  Total of 82 alleged violations.
  • Halsey Street Jewelry, 199 Halsey Street: Total of 83 alleged violations.
  • Quick Cash Jewelers, 712 Broadway:  Total of 78 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • State Jewelers, 786 Broad Street:  Total of 76 alleged violations.
  • Dr. Kim Jewelry, 797 Broad Street:  Total of 70 alleged violations. 
  • Delson Jewelry, 202 Ferry Street:  Total of 61 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Golden City, 827 Broad Street:  Total of 42 alleged violations.
  • Raymond Jewelers, 1186 Raymond Boulevard:  Total of 33 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • State Gold Buyers & Loan Co., 75 First Street:  Total of 26 alleged violations.
  • Mega Jewelry, 154 Market Street:  Total of 11 alleged violations.
  • Simon Jewelers, 91 Wilson Avenue:  Total of five alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized two scales from this business.
  • Vinhas Jewelers, 87 Ferry Street:  Total of five alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Micro City, 146A Ferry Street:  Total of three alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Branford Art & Gold Plus, 60 Branford Place:  Total of two alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized two scales from this business.
  • Carbo International Jewelers, 134 Ferry Street:  Total of two alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized two scales from this business.
  • Fast Cash Jewelers, 1087 Broad Street:  Total of two alleged violations.
  • Branco's Jewelers, 144 Ferry Street:  Total of one alleged violation. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.

In Paterson (21 stores with a total of 2,459 alleged violations):

  • Broadway Jewelry, 72 Broadway:  Total of 545 alleged violations.
  • Khal's Jewelry, 122 Market Street:  Total of 398 alleged violations.
  • Holy Land Gifts & Fine Jewelry, 1143 Main Street:  Total of 346 alleged violations.
  • Sneaker Stadium, 741 Market Street:  Total of 261 alleged violations.
  • Itani Jewelers, 249-A Main Street:  Total of 198 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Rossy Elsie, 368 21st Avenue:  Total of 159 alleged violations.
  • E & D Cashing, 213 Market Street:  Total of 147 alleged violations.
  • La Casa Bonita, 444 21st Avenue: Total of 82 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Fast Jewelry LLC, 263 Main Street: Total of 63 alleged violations.
  • VIP Jewelry, 185 Main Street:  Total of 49 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Cimoglu Jewelry 1141 Main Street: Total of 42 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Binson Pawn Brokers, Inc., 178 Market Street:  Total of 40 alleged violations.
  • All Out Bail Bonds, 94 Broadway:  Total of 34 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • United Check Cashing, 430 Madison Avenue:  Total of 29 alleged violations. Officers also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Mira's Jewelry, 227 Market Street:  Total of 20 alleged violations.
  • Jewelry Express, 238 Main Street:  Total of 14 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • George Jewelry, 282 Main Street:  Total of nine alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Golden Textile, 239 Sixth Avenue:  Total of eight alleged violations.
  • Belki's Grocery/Bekli's JM Gold, 356 Union Avenue:  Total of six alleged violations. Officers also confiscated one scale from this location.
  • Gold Buyer Jewelry, 142 Washington Street:  Total of four alleged violations.
  • Galaxie Jewelers, 207 Main Street:  Total of three alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures also confiscated one scale from this location.

In Camden (Eight stores with a total of 711 alleged violations):

  • F.H. Gold Buyers of Philadelphia, 2406-8 Federal Street:  Total of 363 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business
  • Gold Way Jewelry, 204 Broadway:  Total of 137 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business
  • La Moda/RQ Jewelers, 1825 River Avenue: Total of 94 alleged violations.
  • Sam Trading, Inc., 2502-A Federal Street: Total of 73 alleged violations.
  • Broadway Jewelers, 218 S. Broadway:  Total of 33 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business
  • Westfield Gold I Limited, 2720 Westfield Avenue:  Total of seven alleged violations.
  • J Jewelers, 2501-A Federal Street:  Total of three alleged violations.
  • F&C Golden Gate Jewelers, 1498 Mt. Ephraim Avenue:  Total of one alleged violation.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business

In Irvington (Five stores with a total of 223 alleged violations):

  • ST Wireless, 1076 Springfield Avenue:  Total of 211 alleged violations.
  • A2Z Electronics & Jewelry, 982 Springfield Avenue:  Total of four alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Garden State Check Cashing, 29 Union Avenue:  Total of four alleged violations.
  • Garden State Check Cashing, 716 Chancellor Avenue:  Total of two alleged violations.
  • M & E 1 Jewelry Inc., 1053 Springfield Avenue:  Total of two alleged violations.

In Trenton (Five stores with a total of 966 alleged violations):

  • Gomez Check Cashing, 1369 Broad Street:  Total of 780 alleged violations.
  • Havis Jewelry, 3 East State Street:  Total of 176 alleged violations. In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • NY Gold Express, 13 East State Street:  Total of five alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.
  • Pawn USA Inc., 6 North Broad Street:  Total of three alleged violations.
  • Global Currency Service, 410 Lalor Street, Suite A-10:  Total of two alleged violations.

In Teaneck (Three stores with a total of 172 alleged violations):

  • Rainbow Jewelry, 491 Cedar Lane:  Total of 66 alleged violations.
  • Teaneck Jewelry Exchange, 565 Cedar Lane:  Total of 64 alleged violations.
  • Tony's Jewelry, 490 Cedar Lane:  Total of 42 alleged violations.  In addition, Weights and Measures officers seized one scale from this business.

About New Jersey's Cash-For-Gold Laws

To help protect consumers from being cheated when they sell precious metals, New Jersey law requires that the buyer must weigh the precious metals, and test their fineness, in the seller's clear sight.  The buyer must use a scale that has been certified by the Office of Weights and Measures.  The buyer also must post a sign clearly showing the prices offered, by weight and fineness, for various precious metals.

To help prevent the sale of stolen jewelry, help return stolen jewelry to its rightful owner, and help police identify the possible fencing of stolen goods, State law also requires that the buyer must obtain proof of identification from the seller.  The buyer must create a serialized receipt that includes the transaction date; the seller's name, address, and signature; the types of precious metals purchased, their weight and fineness, and the prices paid, among other information.  In addition to giving a receipt to the seller, the buyer must maintain a copy for at least five years.  The buyer also must retain any precious metals in their original form for no less than 10 business days following delivery of the sales record to local police.

The State Division of Consumer Affairs provides advice and information for those wishing to sell their precious metals or jewelry, in the following publications:

State Office of Weights and Measures Acting Superintendent Howard Pine and John T. McGuire, State Supervisor of Enforcement for the Office of Weights and Measures, led this investigation.  State Weights and Measures enforcement officers participated in the investigation.  

Deputy Attorney General Neil Magnus is representing the State in this action.

Somerset County Office of Weights and Measures Officers Jason Flint and Kyle Pierson also played important roles in this initiative, as did the Camden County Police Department, Irvington Police Department, Newark Police Department, Paterson Police Department, Teaneck Police Department, and Trenton Police Department.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.

Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming Consumer Outreach events.

 

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Last Modified: 4/7/2015 1:24 PM