David Aaron Kushnir (pictured), the former owner of D&D Fine Jewelry in Thornton, Colo., has been arrested and charged with stealing jewelry and money from 11 of his customers, according to a news release from the district attorney of Adams and Broomfield counties.
Kushnir, who told the local press he was a second-generation jeweler, allegedly stole the items when customers brought in diamonds, watches, and other items for repair or consignment, the release says.
An arrest affidavit filed against Kushnir estimates people with claims against the store lost a total of $147,281.25.
Among the charges in the affidavit:
– One customer said she gave Kushnir a Rolex watch for “minor repairs.” When it was returned, it didn’t work properly, she told police. She ended up taking it to another jeweler, who opened it up and told her that the inside movement had allegedly been replaced by pieces from China. She also charged that Kushnir sold her earrings that were made out of fake gold, which made her ears “itch, turn red, and burn.”
– Another customer told police that he bought a custom-designed ring said to include an $8,800 diamond from Kushnir’s store and brought it back for repairs when the ring was chipped. Afterward, the ring became loose again, and he took it back for repairs. At that point, he took it to another jeweler for an appraisal, who told him the center stone was a 1.74 ct. “modified brilliant-cut synthetic moissanite” and not the 1.33 ct. diamond he believed. The customer wasn’t sure if the ring originally had a real diamond or if it was allegedly switched during one of the repairs.
– Others claimed they had dropped off items for repair but were unable to get them back as the store had closed.
Stories about alleged improprieties at Kushnir’s store have gotten extensive publicity in the Denver press. After being sued by one customer, he told a local reporter, “You know, you cost me my livelihood. I am not employed because of your news channel.”
Kushnir could not be reached for comment. However, a note posted on Google from 2017 said the store was closed due to its third robbery in two years. It adds, “We really appreciate the seven good years we had at this location and we are devastated by this.”
(Image courtesy of the district attorney’s office of Colorado’s 17th judicial district)