17 new victims alleged, more charges expected in counterfeit gold case
In the three weeks since news broke that a local gold dealer was being charged with selling counterfeit gold, more than a dozen new victims reportedly have come forward.
A third case will be filed early next week against Gregory Arnoldi, the owner of Grass Valley Gold and Silver, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Glenn Jennings.
Arnoldi, 46, was arrested at his business in the 100 block of Mill Street in Grass Valley in late February, and was charged with three felony counts of possessing and selling counterfeit gold.
He was arrested again the day after his arraignment in Superior Court, reportedly because he was making further gold and silver transactions at the store, and two more counts were filed against him.
The case began when several alleged victims filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office in December 2014, stating they purchased $175,500 worth of gold bullion bars from Arnoldi at his business on two different dates in April 2014.
The victims said they discovered the bars they purchased were fake when they tried to redeem them at another dealer. A joint investigation was then launched by District Attorney investigators and the Grass Valley Police Department.
Arnoldi’s bail was set at $100,000 in his first arrest. After the second arrest, his bail was initially set at $1 million; it was subsequently lowered during a court hearing to $100,000 with terms including no conducting of business, no transfer of financial assets, and an ankle monitor should he be released from jail.
Jennings said that 17 additional victims have been identified, with some of those victims making multiple purchases. He estimated that he will file 37 new counts; most of those will also be for selling counterfeit gold, but Jennings said he also will seek to prosecute Arnoldi for financial elder abuse, because some of the alleged victims are in their mid-70s.
Arnoldi is set to return to court on March 26, when a possible increase in his bail might be discussed.
“We’re still looking at some leads,” Jennings said, adding that more victims could still be added.
Anyone with information about additional fraudulent transactions with Grass Valley Gold and Silver is encouraged to contact the District Attorney Investigation Bureau, 530-265-1301, or the Grass Valley Police Department, 530-477-4600.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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