Businesses Charged in Gold Sales Sting Operation


"Businesses were operating under a "no questions asked" policy, in violation of state law."

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office recently conducted a county-wide sting operation to determine levels of compliance within the Pawn Shop and Secondhand Dealer industries.

The Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department and North Port Police Department assisted with the undercover operation to sell gold jewelry to each business. Many were found to be in compliance. However, a number of businesses were operating under a "no questions asked" policy, making no attempt to properly document the seller information, record the items being purchased or obtain the sellerís fingerprint, all of which are state requirements.

To date, personnel from five local businesses were charged with violating Florida law, which requires a standardized report of their transactions.

The businesses recently cited were:
World Coin and Jewelry, 1509 Main St., Sarasota
Commodity Exchange, 1918 Bay Rd., Sarasota
Kamax Corporation, 3434 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
K's Jewelers, 4288 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota
American Gold and Coin, 4241 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota

While these violations are misdemeanors under Florida law, investigators consider these bad practices to be serious because these businesses are essentially functioning as a black-market fencing operation by providing easy cash to burglars and thieves who are responsible for the increasing number of residential burglaries in Sarasota County.

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