I’ve got to hand it to these guys. They managed to dupe a couple of London jewelers into handing over more £500,000 in diamonds and jewelry for bags full of Monopoly money and funny money. The matter is now on trial at Bristol Crown Court, and involves three separate scams that occurred in London, Bristol, and Leeds.
Apparently the fraudsters convinced several jewelers to hand over more than £500,000 in exchange for stacks of Monopoly money and fake money stamped facsimile, after using real currency in the initial stages of payment. At some point during the transaction, the real currency was switched out for stacks of funny money, and the jewelers didn’t realize they had been taken until it was too late.
All of the transactions went down in clandestine locations like hotel rooms. Given the situation, I’m not really inclined to feel sorry for these guys. Legitimate deals don’t take place in hotel rooms, nor are they paid in huge sums of untraceable cash. This scenario reeks of the type of illegal activity that funds terrorist activities. Perhaps it’s merely a simple matter of stupidity and greed, but from my perspective, the activities of the jewelers involved require further investigation on the part of authorities.
Accepting cash payment in the amounts referenced in these “transactions” has to be against all regulations pertaining to anti-money-laundering and terrorist financing. While the perpetrators of the crime should definitely be tried, the jewelers don’t deserve our sympathy. This is exactly the type of activity that raises red flags and paints our industry in a bad light.
This quote by Sydney J. Harris seems rather appropriate: “Men make counterfeit money; (but) in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men.”
Read the Full Story in the Bristol Post.