Investigators crack down on cash-for-gold parties

Posted at 9:03 PM, Jul 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-25 21:03:34-04

Gold parties at homes are advertised everywhere from Craig’slist to classified ads, and most commonly, by word of mouth.

But under Virginia law, those parties are illegal because the dealer doesn’t have the right permits.

Macie Pridgen, spokesperson for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office says, “If they are traveling from home to home, they aren't operating from a fixed permanent location which makes it illegal."

And because they don’t have the permits, the state doesn’t regulate the dealers’ scales or how they do business.

This opens the door to people selling stolen jewelry and consumers getting ripped off.

And local business owners like Phil Ralph want police to crack down on these parties by throwing the book at the dealers who prosecutors say are mostly from out of state.

Ralph adds, “They're not paying the permits. They are not paying the licensing fees. They're not paying state and federal taxes on the money they make."  

He says most of the time those who attend them don’t even know the parties are illegal.

“On a weekly basis, we hear of three or four people who come into the store who have been to a gold party or have been invited to a gold party,” says Ralph.

For now, prosecutors hope even spreading the word about these illegal parties will crack down on this crime.

If convicted of this crime, you could face up to six years in jail and may have to pay up to $1,000 in fines.