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Jeweler Pleads Guilty to Identity Theft

His crimes targeted military members, prosecutors said.

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A California jewelry store owner has pleaded guilty to identity theft for allegedly obtaining personal financial information from customers who were active duty military members.

Ramil Abalkhad, owner of Romano’s Jewelers, admitted to several felony counts, NBC 7 reports. They include identity theft with intent to defraud, theft by false pretenses and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

Abalkhad is required to pay a total of $55,000 in restitution. The money will go to at least 70 victims, according to the news station.

Abalkhad could face three years in prison. But if he pays the restitution prior to his sentencing, he’s set to receive probation, said Gina Darvas, San Diego Deputy district attorney.

NBC 7 explains: “According to the original criminal complaint, between 2010 and 2012, Abalkhad instructed jewelry store manager Carlos Torres and employee Nellie Cha Noland to obtain the personal financial information of Marine customers and then add unauthorized charges on their store credit accounts.”

Nolan and Torres have entered guilty pleas and, like Abalkhad, are scheduled for sentencing in February.

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