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Press Release

Luxury Jewelry Company Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Stealing, Selling Millions of Dollars Worth of Precious Metals

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A manufacturing supervisor for a luxury jewelry company pleaded guilty today to stealing gold, silver and platinum from his employer over a period of more than three years.

Benjamin Preacher, 54, of North Attleboro, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen goods and one count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18, 2024. In March 2024, Preacher was charged by criminal complaint.

Since 2018, Preacher worked fulltime as a manufacturing supervisor at a Rhode Island facility operated by a company that sells luxury items, including jewelry made from gold, silver and platinum. Preacher used his position to steal precious metals from the company’s facility in Rhode Island and then sell the metals to various businesses in Massachusetts. 

Specifically, from in or about March 2020 to March 2023, Preacher sold precious metals to a Canton-based metals dealer roughly one to two times per month – with sales to that dealer alone totaling more than $1 million. Preacher’s sales of stolen metals included $50,521 in 18-carat gold in March 2020; $21,821 in 18-carat gold, “platinum scrap” and “sterling” in April 2021; and $30,939 in platinum in January 2022. 

Preacher also sold more than $177,000 in stolen precious metals to a separate metals dealer in West Bridgewater between on or about May 16, 2023 and Nov. 16, 2023. This included gold sheets used by Preacher’s employer, which Preacher stole and sold, along with other gold scrap, for nearly $21,000.

Image of gold scraps

On March 1, 2024, approximately 30 minutes into his shift, Preacher was captured on company security cameras stealing a piece of white gold “flat stock,” measuring approximately an inch in diameter and approximately as thick as a quarter, valued at roughly $2,200.  

Precious metal in scrap form were located and seized during a search of Preacher’s home on March 14, 2024.

Image of gold scraps in plastic baggie

The charge of interstate transportation of stolen goods provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the monetary gain or loss, whichever is more, and the charge of unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the laundered funds. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Harry Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 6, 2024