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Jeweler Faces 33 Felony Counts for Alleged Fraud, Theft

She’s accused of passing off less expensive stones as real diamonds.

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A jeweler in Indianapolis has been arrested on 33 felony counts for allegedly selling imitation diamonds as the real thing.

Charges against 41-year-old Lora Richards, owner of Iconic Brilliance, include  theft and fraud, as well as corrupt business influence, the Indianapolis Star reports.

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Sixteen people told authorities they’d been cheated by Richards, according to the newspaper. In many instances, the stones they took home were actually moissanite.

At times she swapped out diamonds for cheaper stones when she was was supposed to be resetting the stones or putting them into a custom piece, authorities say.

The complaints against Richards date back to late 2015. In addition to diamonds, some of them involve other gems, such as emeralds.

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Richards told WTTV-TV that a broker was at fault for many of the problems.

“I bought from a broker and I was just negligent on knowing what I was buying,” she was quoted saying.

Read more at the Indianapolis Star

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