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12 Accused in $9M Diamond Fraud Case, and Other News From This Week

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Here’s what’s happening in the world of jewelry.

Authorities say they’ve charged 12 men in connection with a $9 million diamond fraud scheme in New York. The men, who allegedly are Russian gang members, tricked wholesalers in the Diamond District by way of false references and cold checks, federal prosecutors say, according to the New York Post. Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim was quoted saying, “The defendants allegedly took advantage of an industrywide system of credit and trust to obtain largely untraceable diamonds, and then, using various allegedly illegal schemes, refused to pay.” They’re charged with mail fraud and wire fraud and have been released on bail.

Mike Carter of Carter’s Fine Jewelers and Gifts in Rocky Mount, VA, is entering the local political arena, the Franklin News-Post reports. Carter, whose described by the newspaper as an “anti-pipeline activist,” is running for the role of Rocky Mount district supervisor. He’s quoted saying: ““I think the county needs to maybe have a businessperson’s perspective on county politics.”

Movado Group Inc. announced that its president, Ricardo Quintero, is departing. He’ll stay with the watch company through April 30, after which his responsibilities will be assumed by members of the senior management team. The change is part of a “streamlining” of the organization, according to a press release.

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Thomas S. Fox Fine Jewelry Outlet in Grand Rapids, MI, is closing after 100 years in business, WOOD-TV reports. Decades ago the business had as many as 48 locations in several states, but now it’s down to one. Owner John Turrentine says he’s ready for a change and he’s going back to his previous career in building and real estate.

A new bill called the Main Street Cybersecurity Act has landed in the U.S. Senate, CNBC reports. If it passes, it will create resources and guidelines for small businesses seeking to prevent cyberattacks. Bill co-sponsor Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-WA, said: “By creating a simple, voluntary cybersecurity framework for small businesses, the Main Street Cybersecurity Act will help them protect their data.”

 

 

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When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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