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Gang of Diamond Fraudsters Arrested

Apr 6, 2017 9:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... New York police have arrested 10 men accused of defrauding wholesalers out of diamonds valued at more than $9 million, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced.

The accused wrote bad checks, forged documents and devised long stories to cheat their victims in New York, Las Vegas and Mumbai, the statement said, citing allegations in a Manhattan federal court claim that were revealed Wednesday.

Police are still looking for two more men who have been charged in the scheme.

“The twelve charged defendants allegedly participated in a global conspiracy to defraud diamond dealers out of more than $9 million,” acting Manhattan US attorney Joon Kim said. “Centered in Manhattan’s diamond district, America’s busiest hub in the diamond trade, the defendants allegedly took advantage of an industry-wide system of credit and trust to obtain largely untraceable diamonds, and then, using various allegedly illegal schemes, refused to pay.”

To avoid detection, the group focused on obtaining small melee diamonds, which are virtually untraceable because they do not have numerical identifiers, according to the court complaint.

Their most common technique was to build up credit and trust with the diamond supplier before walking away with millions of dollars in diamonds at the moment of maximum credit, the complaint explained.

In one of the schemes described, the accused deployed an ad-hoc strategy to obtain as much of the diamond inventory of a wholesaler as possible without full payment, causing the victim more than $2.4 million in losses. The plan was carried out between around January 2015 and November 2016 by Godel “Gary” Sezanayev, Albert Foozailov, Imanil “Eddy” Muratov, Manashe “Michael” Sezanayev and Ali Javidnezhad, according to the statement.

In another example, three of the accused – Sezanayev, Arkadiy Israilov and Nizamuden Akbari – conspired to defraud a jewelry merchant at a Las Vegas trade show around May 2015.

In a third alleged scheme from around December 2015 to December 2016, Foozailov, Nathan Itzchaki, Mark Mullakandov, Mark Natanzon, Menachem Abramov and Sholom Muratov convinced “numerous” victims in Mumbai to send diamonds by interstate carrier by saying they would pay for them, even though they had no intention to honor the agreement. This caused these victims losses of more than $7.4 million, the statement said.

“Diamonds have value worldwide so it comes as no surprise that an alleged organized ring would target diamond wholesalers in Manhattan’s diamond district in a worldwide scheme,” said FBI assistant director-in-charge William F. Sweeney Jr.
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Tags: crime, fraud, las vegas, mumbai, new york, police, Rapaport News
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