Queens Jeweler Charged With Money Laundering
Stanislav Yakubov allegedly fenced goods for a crew that committed more than a dozen armed robberies.
According to court documents, between about October 2019 and November 2020, a violent group committed more than a dozen armed robberies of jewelers and luxury watch owners in the New York City metropolitan area.
The items stolen included a $500,000 Richard Mille watch and a diamond bracelet worth $28,000.
According to the indictment, Stanislav Yakubov, or “Steve,” a jeweler who sells watches and jewelry at a store in the Jamaica Colosseum Mall in Queens, New York, allegedly acted as a fence for the stolen watches.
He has been charged with one count of money laundering.
Officials arrested Victor Rivera in November 2020 for his role in the robberies. He was indicted that month.
According to court documents, Rivera pleaded guilty to committing or attempting to commit robberies of luxury watches earlier this year.
Johan Araujo, 40, has also been charged in connection to the robberies. He was arrested last July and has maintained his plea of not guilty, according to the court docket. His trial is set for Sept. 19.
Court documents state that one of the men has been cooperating with officials to identify what happened and who was involved in the robberies.
Yakubov’s attorney, Oliver Storch, said in a statement to National Jeweler that Yakubov is “devastated and shocked by these false allegations,” especially since he was the victim of an assault and robbery at his jewelry store.
He also said: “The cooperator’s credibility is highly suspect because they claim to have met with Mr. Yakubov in NYC when he was actually out of the country on a documented family vacation. We ask the public to withhold judgment until these allegations are properly addressed and resolved in the appropriate forum.”
In March 2021, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance issued a warning about a spate of high-end watch robberies in New York and Los Angeles, sharing the following safety tips for jewelers:
— Avoid conducting jewelry business in a public place;
— Do not resist in the event of an armed robbery; and
— Be mindful of the special risks involved in wearing expensive watches, and limit that risk accordingly.
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