Owner of Boutique in Downtown L.A.’s Jewelry District Pleads Guilty to Laundering Drug Money
A man who runs a precious metals trading shop in downtown Los Angeles’ Jewelry District was caught trying to use the business to conceal proceeds from narcotics sales and pleaded guilty on Monday, federal prosecutors said.
Saeed Elyahouzadeh, 53, of Westwood, was convicted of felony money laundering after he told undercover agents he would help them wash more than $200,000 in drug money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
The store involved, R.S.D. Trading Co., is registered at 640 S. Hill St., according to records from the California Secretary of State’s Office.
Elyahouzadeh took part in at least four transactions between April 2015 and December 2017 under the impression he was helping to conceal the origin of illicit funds, prosecutors said.
It began when he agreed to “clean” $18,000 from cocaine sales, keeping $1,000 for himself. He then deposited the money in what he thought was a drug trafficker’s account, officials said.
The Westwood man ultimately made $11,000 off the undercover operation, according to court documents.
Elyahouzadeh is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15, when he will face a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison.