Business owners search for gold scammers

February 17, 2011 8:34:12 PM PST
The owners of Carpet and Futon Gallery in North Brunswick say two men scammed them out of thousands of dollars in gold.

It took skill and patience to pull this one off.

The owners of Carpet and Futon Gallery in North Brunswick say the two men who scammed them had both.

Police say they got away with $17,500 cash in a coy switch that left Kay Mojalal and his partner holding fake gold instead of the real thing.

"They stepped out and they didn't even take a minute, and David said, 'I think they switched the gold' and yes it was fake gold in the package," Mojalal said.

The men were caught on four different cameras.

They were seen walking through the parking lot and into the store for the deal.

They told the owners they wanted to sell gold, but just not here in the open.

It was in a back office where the scam began.

Co-owner David Balazadeh haggled with the men for more than an hour over what they would get for their gold.

The video shows, the owner ran three separate tests on the pieces of jewelry, to confirm the good gold would put $3,000 in profit in his pocket.

"He's scratching the gold, and puts acid on it to make sure it doesn't change color, its gold," Mojalal said.

When they agree on a price, the owner puts the gold in his own plastic bag.

But, the suspects don't like that saying the deal is off.

Once the gold is back in the original bag, the deal is back on.

"The trick is here. They say, 'you have the deal'," Mojalal said.

The suspect in the white cap puts the real gold in his coat pocket and spins around while his partner distracts the owner and then takes out the fake gold and puts it on the table.

"He puts it into his pocket and then he turns back and at his moment he comes in to talk and confuse David. And now he takes the fake gold out," Mojalal said.

In total it's more than a $20,000 loss between the cash and potential profit.

It's the type of thing that could put any small business out of business.

So they're offering a $2,000 reward for any sold information that helps police catch the culprits.

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