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Alejandro Mendieta Blanco (above) and his brother Julio have been sentenced for their roles in purchasing jewellery and watches stolen from Melbourne stores in 2017.
Alejandro Mendieta Blanco (above) and his brother Julio have been sentenced for their roles in purchasing jewellery and watches stolen from Melbourne stores in 2017.

Two more gold dealers sentenced over stolen goods

Colombian-born brothers Alejandro and Julio Mendieta Blanco, who previously operated the Gold Buyers Melbourne business, have been sentenced after pleading guilty to receiving stolen goods linked to the 2017 Melbourne jewellery store robberies.

The pair were arrested in October 2017 following police surveillance and an undercover operation, which found the brothers and a long-term employee, Chey Tenenboim, were purchasing gold jewellery and watches without asking for identification, as is legally required.

"On 25 August, Judge Johns sentenced Alejandro Mendieta Blanco, 34, to four months in jail and a two-year community corrections order for purchasing stolen property valued at $29,000"

In a previous hearing, Judge Scott Johns, of the County Court of Victoria, described their actions as “acting as a customer for the thief” and “very dishonest”.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald report that Gold Buyers Melbourne recorded turnover of $66 million in the 2015-16 financial year.

The three men were initially charged with more than 450 offences each, but a deal with prosecutors saw them plead guilty to single charges earlier this year.

On 25 August, Judge Johns sentenced Alejandro Mendieta Blanco, 34, to four months in jail and a two-year community corrections order for purchasing stolen property valued at $29,000. He noted that Mendieta Blanco had immigrated to Australia alone as a teenager, and had built a successful business as well as supporting charitable causes.

However, he called it “a great shame” that his good reputation had been “sullied” by “succumbing to the temptation of easy money by dishonest means”.

Mendieta Blanco previously flaunted a luxurious lifestyle on social media; in June 2017, four months before his arrest, pop star Delta Goodrem had serenaded him at his 30th birthday.

Julio Mendieta Blanco, 37, was sentenced to a two-and-a-half-year community corrections order after pleading guilty to receiving stolen goods valued at $45,000, but was spared jail. The Age reports that he had read a letter in court expressing remorse and apologising to those who had been robbed; he also claimed to have been a doctor in Colombia and expressed a desire to work in public health in Australia.

Tenenboim, 39, was sentenced last week to one year in prison, plus a community corrections order.

 

More reading:
Gold dealer linked to jewellery store robberies sentenced to jail
Jail likely for gold buyers linked to 2017 store robberies
Police drop more than 400 charges against gold dealer linked to jewellery store robberies
Gold dealer connected to jewellery robberies fronts court
Breakthrough in Melbourne jewellery robberies
 











Jesse-Leigh Elford Photography
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