TOPEKA (KSNT) – The owner of a Topeka jewelry store appeared in federal court Thursday on charges of knowingly buying stolen jewelry that he melted and sold for more than $430,500 as scrap gold, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Fifty-three-year old John O. Dasher of Silver Lake is charged with one count of interstate transportation of stolen property and 32 counts of money laundering. The indictment alleges that while he owned and operated The Diamond House at 1801 S.W. Gage Boulevard in Topeka he knowingly purchased stolen jewelry from individuals who committed home invasions in and around Topeka.
He purchased the jewelry at a fraction of its actual value and melted it down to sell as gold scrap. He sent the gold through the U.S. Postal Service to precious metal wholesalers including Pop Gems International, Gold Empire and Coinex, Inc. From November 2008 to April 2013, the companies paid Dasher a total of more than $430,500 for scrap gold.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of interstate transportation of stolen goods, and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000 on each money laundering count.
The Topeka Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.