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Signet to Close Manufacturing Plant, Lay Off 122

The jobs will be cut by May 24.

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Signet Jewelers Ltd. plans to close a manufacturing plant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The closure will mean the loss of 122 jobs, the Dallas Business Journal reports.

“We have evaluated consolidation in key areas of our business, seeking to understand production capacity, cost and efficiency across our operations and distribution,” David Bouffard, Signet’s vice president for corporate affairs, told the publication.

The north Texas employees will be laid off by May 24. Operations will be transferred to existing locations in Akron, OH, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

However, Signet continues to maintain operations in north Texas, where it has more than 700 employees.

In February, media reports said Signet was making buyout offers to 2,600 employees in Fairlawn, OH, and 800 in Dallas as part of a cost-cutting effort.

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Employees of the company’s stores, which operate under the Kay, Zales, Jared and Piercing Pagoda brands, were reportedly not eligible for the program.

Bouffard said at the time that the headcount reductions were designed “to fund the critical investments we need in our transformation plan,” according to Crain’s Cleveland Business.

If not enough employees signed up for the “voluntary transition program,” layoffs would be necessary, company officials said.

The company also said it was deferring merit pay increases for Store Support Center employees in Fairlawn and Dallas, Crain’s reported.

Read more at the Dallas Business Journal

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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NFL Player Awarded $6.1M in Jewelry Fraud Lawsuit

The jeweler says he’ll appeal.

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Drew Brees, quarterback for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, has won $6.1 million in damages from a jeweler he claims sold him diamonds at grossly inflated prices.

Drew Brees

In a jury trial in San Diego, Drees said he bought $15 million in diamonds from Vahid Moradi and CJ Charles Jewelers over a four-year period ending in 2016, The Advocate reports. He said he’d become friends with Moradi and trusted him completely.

Brees said he and his wife, Brittany, were then told by an appraiser that they’ve overpaid by about $7 million.

The Breeses alleged fraud and breach of contract, as well as violation of California business law, according to The Advocate.

Moradi and his lawyer, Kevin Rooney, said they plan to appeal the jury’s decision. They said they “passionately disagree” with the verdict.

Moradi said he sold jewelry to the Breeses at a normal retail markup.

Read more at The Advocate

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Online Diamond Seller Files for Bankruptcy

Dozens of individuals and businesses are reportedly owed money.

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Enchanted Diamonds, a Manhattan-based diamond dealer, has filed for bankruptcy, the New York Daily News reports.

The company, which sells its products online, owes $1.8 million, according to the newspaper.

Much of the debt is to customers who claim they paid the company and didn’t receive their gems.

A filing in federal bankruptcy court indicates that the firm owes money to dozens of individuals and business entities across the U.S. and in other regions, including Asia.

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More than 50 customers are “pursuing restitution through a law firm hired by Rare Carat, an online aggregator for jewelers,” according to the Daily News.

Joshua Niamehr, president of Enchanted Gems, did not respond to a request for comment on Friday, according to the newspaper.

Read more at the New York Daily News

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Jeweler Accused of Stealing from Customers

He was arrested May 30.

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A jeweler in Lawrenceville, GA, has been charged with theft, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Timothy New, owner of The Bench Jewelers, is accused of shortchanging some customers who left their jewelry with him for consignment. He also allegedly failed to complete custom design jobs that he promised, and failed to return the money.

New, 55, has been charged with theft by conversion and theft by taking.

He was arrested May 30, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The business has been closed.

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“Detectives have served several search warrants, which yielded the recovery of a large amount of jewelry,” Lawrenceville police Lt. Jake Parker said in a press release. “We are seeking help and looking to return the jewelry to the confirmed owners, as well as identify additional victims.”

Read more at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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