Shonky gold dealer to miss son's bar mitzvah for jail
A Jewish gold dealer outed as a fraudster who gave cash to crooks for stolen jewellery has been delivered the ultimate punishment of missing his son's bar mitzvah.
County Court Judge Scott Johns said Chey Tenenboim must be denounced for his greedy actions, jailing him for 12 months.
The Caulfield North father of four had earlier begged the judge to impose a sentence that would see him free for the coming of age ritual for his son's 13th birthday in November.
But with only 32 days of time already served, Tenenboim will spend the important milestone behind bars.
Judge Johns said Tenenboim had "no moral compass" when he paid $144,638 to armed robbers and junkies for stolen jewellery - much of which would have been "priceless" or have sentimental value to its owners.
"It is extremely shameful behaviour," Judge Johns said.
"Receiving stolen goods is a crime that encourages theft.
"You thought you could do it without getting caught.
"It was a purely greed driven offence."
Judge Johns said Tenenboim received a 30 per cent cut on top of his annual salary of about $200,000.
The court heard Tenenboim made 42 off-the-books transactions for his dodgy customers at Gold Buyers Melbourne between August 28 and October 3, 2017.
Speaking in coded language and telling customers to whisper in case police were listening in, he coughed up cash for hot items, including watches, rings and bracelets.
The jewellery was then quickly melted into gold bars and sold.
Tenenboim was initially charged with 450 offences when arrested but in a prosecution plea deal, pleaded guilty to a single offence of receiving stolen goods.
Brothers Alejandro and Julio Mendieta-Blanco, both directors of the gold company, have also pleaded guilty to the same charge and are expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.
The court heard Tenenboim had grown up in the gold and jewellery trade, with his father running a wholesale gold and diamonds jewellery business in Sydney.
His father had sent him to Israel for a six-month course studying diamonds.
Tenenboim later did further gemology studies with the Gemmological Association of Australia.
But in 2005, the court heard he was forced to flee North Bondi to Melbourne with his wife after he was threatened about debts owed by his father.
His father was later found floating in Sydney Harbour in what a coroner found to be suicide.
Taking into consideration his personal circumstances, previous good character, early guilty plea, remorse and more onerous conditions behind bars due to the pandemic, Judge Johns sentenced him to 12 months jail.
He also ordered he undergo a two-year Community Correction Order, including 200 hours of unpaid community work, on his release.
Originally published as Shonky gold dealer to miss bar mitzvah for jail