DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Jacob's Close Call

Prison-bound bling king was target of second federal narcotics probe

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Jacob's Close Call

JUNE 24--'Jacob the Jeweler,' the New York businessman whose clientele has included diamond-loving music and sports stars, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for his dealings with a Detroit drug gang, but it appears that he sidestepped an even worse judicial fate.

Jacob Arabov, 43, who pleaded guilty in a Michigan court to lying about business transactions with Detroit's violent Black Mafia Family, was also the target of a similar probe involving New Jersey's largest drug trafficker, prosecutors disclosed in a recent court filing.

In a U.S. District Court sentencing memorandum, an excerpt of which you'll find here, Michigan prosecutors revealed that their New Jersey counterparts were targeting Arabov for 'engaging in similar conduct' with the East Coast drug kingpin.

Arabov refused to cooperate with New Jersey investigators and only began 'serious' plea negotiations when he was indicted in the Michigan case. Arabov was simultaneously negotiating pleas in both federal jurisdictions when he cut a deal in Michigan. At that point, 'the United States Attorney's Office in New Jersey agreed to forego prosecuting [Arabov] for his involvement in their investigation.'

While the New Jersey hoodlum is not named in the government filing, Arabov was apparently dealing with Hakeem Curry, a notorious Newark drug trafficker who last year was sentenced to life in prison. Among other lavish purchases, Curry spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on custom-made jewelry, according to New Jersey investigators.

Michigan prosecutors disclosed Arabov's role in the New Jersey probe to rebut his claim that his involvement with the Black Mafia Family was 'completely inconsistent' with the way he has conducted his life and business. And, in an additional shot, prosecutors also noted that Arabov's urine tested positive for cocaine following his June 2006 arrest. (3 pages)