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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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Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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