Yancie H. Moseley Jr., a well-known Washington Parish jeweler whose son opened a controversial gold business with former 22nd Judicial District Attorney Walter Reed, has been booked with possession of stolen property after authorities said he bought purloined jewelry at a separate Bogalusa gold-buying business.
Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said in a news release Monday that Moseley, 71, bought $40,000 worth of jewelry for $1,900 — most of it in cash — without properly documenting the purchases, as required by law. The gold was also disposed of before the required waiting period elapsed, according to the news release.
The stolen items included a Rolex watch valued at $10,000, a gold chain valued at $20,000, a diamond ring valued at $12,000 and another ring worth $900.
The case began when St. Tammany Parish deputies told Washington Parish authorities that items stolen in an October burglary were in the latter parish. Washington Parish detectives arrested 26-year-old Danny Chain, and the continuing investigation led to Moseley Gold Buy of Bogalusa.
Moseley was arrested Friday and released the same day after posting a $7,500 cash bond.
Moseley and his son, Yancie H. “Bubba” Moseley III, were partners in the gold-buying business, according to documents filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. Reed and the younger Moseley had been partners in the same type of business, MR Precious Metals, but Reed had no involvement with the Bogalusa business.
Neither of the Moseleys returned calls for comment.
Richard Simmons, who is representing Reed in an unrelated federal corruption case, said he knew nothing about the charges against the elder Moseley and that they have nothing to do with his client. He said Reed is no longer in the gold-buying business.
Documents filed with the Secretary of State’s Office show that Reed alerted the state of his exit from MR Precious Metal on Sept. 11. Simmons said Reed actually got out of the business sometime in 2014.
Simmons also said that Reed has never met the senior Moseley.
Reed’s partnership with the younger Moseley came under scrutiny when Eric Cazaubon, a St. Tammany resident who was on active probation, went into the gold business. He claims that he was pressured into a partnership with MR Precious Metals and that after he backed out, his home and business were raided by probation agents and other law enforcement officers. Reed’s office sought to revoke his probation.
The Cazaubon case was reported in 2014 by The New Orleans Advocate. Rafael Goyeneche, president of the watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission, criticized Reed’s involvement at the time, saying the district attorney should have avoided doing business with a convict, especially one on active probation.
While the elder Moseley’s current legal problems don’t involve Reed, his arrest shows that the gold-buying business is ripe for abuse by people trying to fence stolen property, Goyeneche said.
The message to public officials is to be very careful in choosing people with whom they go into business, he said.
Cazaubon has filed suit in federal court against Reed and the younger Moseley, but his case has been stayed until Reed’s criminal trial is held.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 24 to add new information from Richard Simmons, Walter Reed’s lawyer.