Couple charged in gold, welfare fraud cases offered plea deal
A Grass Valley gold dealer facing dozens of counts of possessing and selling counterfeit gold and financial elder abuse, as well as criminal conspiracy in a separate welfare fraud case involving his wife, reportedly is contemplating a plea agreement that could net him more than 13 years in state prison.
Gregory Arnoldi, 46, the owner of Grass Valley Gold and Silver, was arrested at his business in the 100 block of Mill Street in late February.
He was arrested again the day after his arraignment in Nevada County Superior Court, reportedly because he was making further gold and silver transactions at the store.
Several alleged victims had filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office, stating they purchased $175,500 worth of gold bullion bars from Arnoldi at his business on two different dates in April 2014.
The alleged victims said they discovered the bars they purchased were fake when they tried to redeem them at another dealer; a joint investigation was subsequently launched by District Attorney investigators and the Grass Valley Police Department.
More than 35 alleged victims — many older than 60 years old — have been identified, with some making multiple purchases.
Shara Elaine Daly, 44, subsequently was arrested and charged with 25 felony counts of grand theft, criminal conspiracy, perjury, fraud to obtain aid, falsifying eligibility for aid and filing false documents.
According to Assistant District Attorney Glenn Jennings, Daly was on government assistance while working for her husband’s business.
The couple was in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday, and their attorney, Greg Klein, said they were considering a plea agreement offer that had been presented by Jennings.
Jennings said it was a package deal that both had to accept; Arnoldi would serve 13 years and four months in prison, while Daly would face probation and some jail time.
On Wednesday, Jennings filed yet another case against Arnoldi, adding four counts of selling counterfeit gold and one count of tax evasion.
“If you sell $1,500 or more of silver or gold bullion, that is an investment and you are not required to pay sales tax,” he explained, adding that Arnoldi should have paid taxes on the sale of the counterfeit gold.
The couple is set to return to court Oct. 8, and will either take the plea agreement or set a time for a preliminary hearing into the evidence against them.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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