Indian-American jeweller indicted in multi-million dollar international trade fraud

| | Washington
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Indian-American jeweller indicted in multi-million dollar international trade fraud

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 | PTI | Washington

Indian-American jeweller indicted in multi-million dollar international trade fraud

A jeweller, based out of both Mumbai and New Jersey, has been indicted for illegally evading customs duties for millions of dollars of jewellery imports into the US and operating unlicensed money transmitting businesses, a US attorney has said.

Monishkumar Kirankumar Doshi Shah (39) was arrested over the weekend and appeared on February 26 before US Magistrate Judge André M Espinosa in the Newark federal court.

Shah alias "Monish Doshi Shah" was released on a bond of USD 100,000, with home detention and location monitoring.

He has been charged on a complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of operating, aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.

From January 2015 through September 2023, Shah engaged in a scheme to evade duties for shipments of jewellery from Turkey and India to the US, according to documents.

He would ship or instruct his conspirators to ship goods from Turkey or India, which would have been subject to an approximately 5.5 per cent duty if shipped directly to the US, to one of Shah's companies in South Korea, these stated.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Shah's conspirators in South Korea would change the labels on the jewellery to state that they were from South Korea instead of Turkey or India, and then ship them to Shah or his customers in the US, thereby unlawfully evading the duty.

He would also make and instruct his customers to make fake invoices and packing lists to make it look like Shah's South Korean companies were actually ordering jewellery from Turkey or India.

During the scheme, Shah shipped millions of dollars of jewellery from South Korea to the US, prosecutors alleged.

From July 2020 through November 2021, Shah operated numerous purported jewellery companies in New York City's Diamond District, including MKore LLC (MKore), MKore USA Inc. (MKore USA) and Vruman Corp (Vruman), it said.

He used these entities to conduct millions of dollars in illegal financial transactions for customers, including converting cash to checks or wire transfers, the documents said.

Shah would also collect cash from customers and use conspirators' jewellery companies, also located in the Diamond District, to convert the cash into wires or checks.

The documents said that at times, Shah and his conspirators moved more than a million dollars of cash in a single day. In exchange for their services, Shah and his conspirators charged a fee.

Prosecutors said that none of Shah's or his conspirators' companies were registered as money transmitting businesses with New York, New Jersey, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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