Rappers had better stock up on their yellow-diamond tennis bracelets and sapphire-sprayed platinum chains, because the king of bling is going up the river for a while.
Jacob “The Jeweler” Arabov — the infamous New York diamond merchant who has outfitted countless rappers, NBA players and even onetime Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani — was sentenced Tuesday (June 24) to two and a half years in federal prison for lying to investigators about his part in a multistate drug ring.
According to The Associated Press, Arabov, who pleaded guilty in October to falsifying records and giving false statements, as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, was given seven months off his potential three-year-plus sentence for his extensive charity work. He was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine (barely enough to buy one of his low-end chains) and forfeit $2 million to the government.
“I feel ashamed that I broke the laws of this country, a country that has been so good for me,” read a statement from Arabov, a 43-year-old Russian immigrant sometimes known as Jacob Arabo. “I will carry this shame for the rest of my life.”
Arabov has gotten shout-outs in multiple Kanye West songs (“Touch the Sky,” “All Falls Down,” “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”), not to mention tracks by 50 Cent, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Fabolous and Young Jeezy. He was arrested at his Manhattan shop in 2006 and accused of being part of a conspiracy to launder about $270 million in drug profits. Officials dropped the money-laundering charges against the jeweler as part of his plea agreement.
He was among 40 people indicted in the scheme orchestrated by the Black Mafia Family, which ran drugs out of Detroit beginning in the 1990s. Arabov will report to prison on January 15, and the judge in the case said he might have to receive drug treatment while in prison because he tested positive for cocaine following his arrest.