Los Angeles Jewelry Store Owner Sentenced for Diamond Fraud

February 7, 2011

A Los Angeles jewelry store owner is on the rocks for collecting nearly $100,000 by falsely reporting a diamond theft.

Lior Bitton pleaded guilty to insurance fraud. He was sentenced to five days in jail and 90 days of home confinement and probation. He’ll have to pay $99,000 in restitution.

One of Bitton’s employees was robbed of 20 diamonds in Orange County last year. Prosecutors say Bitton filed an insurance claim that listed a 4.2-carat diamond as one of the stolen gems.

Prosecutors say Bitton received the insurance money, then tried to sell the diamond to a wholesaler in Israel. The wholesaler submitted the diamond for certification and learned it had been reported two months earlier.

The diamond will be turned over to the insurer

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