AVENEL, NJ – Beware of “cash for gold” shops in central and northern New Jersey.
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and its Office of Weights and Measures wrapped up a several month-long investigation into “cash-for-gold” shops that culminated in 936 civil citations for alleged violations of New Jersey consumer protection laws at 21 stores across various central and northern towns, including Edison, Plainfield and Fairfield, at a press conference on Thursday.
“New Jersey’s cash-for-gold laws serve two important functions,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “On one hand they require jewelers to be transparent about their pricing and the evaluation of precious metals when buying from consumers. On the other hand, they help fight the sale of stolen jewelry, by requiring the buyers to maintain a fully detailed record that can be provided to police.”
Members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Edison Police Department, and Fairfield Police Department assisted in the state’s investigation. The team participated in undercover consumer visits to jewelry stores.
The results of the small-scale investigation has now led the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Office of Weights and Measures to launch a large-scale, state-wide investigation into the growing business of reselling precious metals.
“Especially now that the price of gold appears to be rising, we are focusing on the integrity of those businesses that attract consumers who may face financial hardships with the promise of cash for gold, silver, and precious jewelry,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve C. Lee said. “This enforcement action is just the beginning of a year-long focus to ensure jewelry stores comply with our cash-for-gold laws.”
The civil violations were filed as summonses in municipal court. Each civil violation carries a penalty of $500 to $1,000.
International Gold Buyers, located in Edison, was found to allegedly be noncompliant on multiple visits to the store from May 7 to May 9, 2014, resulting in 209 violations of “cash-for-gold” laws.
Six separate stores in Fairfield were found to allegedly violate the law: Route 46 Diamond Exchange, Six Star Jewelry, Haniken Jewelers, Elizabeth Jewelry, Jewelry by Marcus, David Son’s Jewelry and John Anthony Jewelry were issued a total of 241 summonses.
In Plainfield, law enforcement officials found possible violations in six locations, totaling 194 violations.
This investigation is currently on going.