North Attleborough man pleads guilty to stealing, selling million in precious metals 

Benjamin Preacher of North Attleborough has pleaded guilty to stealing precious metals from the jewelry company where he worked. The items stolen were sold for more than $1 million. Courtesy photo 

Benjamin Preacher has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the theft and sale of gold, silver and platinum from the jewelry company where he worked over a period of more than three years.

Preacher, 54, of North Attleborough, plead guilty on Friday, June 7, to one count of interstate transportation of stolen goods and one count of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, according to information provided by the U.S. District Attorney’s office. Preacher was charged in March and U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley scheduled sentencing for Sept. 18, 2024. 

The sentence for a charge of interstate transportation of stolen goods provides is up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the monetary gain or loss, whichever is more. The charge of unlawful monetary transactions carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the laundered funds. 

According to the DA’s Office, since 2018, Preacher worked full-time as a manufacturing supervisor at a Rhode Island facility operated by a company that sells luxury items, including jewelry made from gold, silver and platinum. Preacher used his position to steal precious metals from the company’s facility in Rhode Island and then sell them to businesses in Massachusetts.

From around March 2020 to March 2023, Preacher sold precious metals to a Canton-based metals dealer roughly one to two times per month – with sales to that dealer alone totaling more than $1 million. The metal that Preacher stole included 18-carat gold, “platinum scrap,” “sterling” and platinum.

Preacher also sold more than $177,000 in stolen precious metals to a separate dealer in West Bridgewater between May 16 and Nov. 16, 2023. This included gold sheets used by Preacher’s employer, along with other gold scrap, for nearly $21,000.

On March 1, approximately 30 minutes into his shift, Preacher was captured on company security cameras stealing a piece of white gold “flat stock,” measuring approximately an inch in diameter and approximately as thick as a quarter, valued at roughly $2,200. Precious metal in scrap form were located and seized during a search of Preacher’s home on March 14.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.