Monday, March 7, 2011
Diamond Dealers Convicted For Staging $7 Million Heist
Two jewelry wholesalers were convicted March 4 for staging a jewelry heist in order to collect a $7 million insurance payment for their business.
Atul Shah and Mahaveer Kankariya were convicted in New York City with two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of attempted grand larceny in the first degree, and three counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, following a bench trial, according to a statement from the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
The D.A.'s office charged the men falsely claimed that two thieves dressed as Orthodox Jewish men entered the offices of Real Creations and Dialite Imports on Dec. 31, 2008, and stole approximately $9 million worth of jewelry and diamonds at gunpoint.
Shah and Kankariya then made an insurance claim worth $7 million. Insurers and authorities became suspicious when it was discovered the businesses were in debt, according to The Associated Press.
According to prosecutors, a security camera caught Shah and Kankariya removing a significant amount of jewelry from the safe two hours before the alleged robbery.
The men face from one to 25 years in prison at their sentencing, scheduled for April 29. The Associated Press reports the men are free on $750,000 bond but are wearing ankle monitors.