Court Okays First De Beers Class Action Checks

On Aug. 10, a New Jersey federal court gave the go-ahead to send out the first checks to industry members in the De Beers antitrust class action settlement.

The case administer, Rust Consulting, said in a court filing that it had received and processed 7,862 claims from members of the Indirect Purchaser Reseller Subclass, which includes most jewelers and diamond dealers. Of those, 1,672 were found to be ineligible, leaving a total of 6,190 bonafide recipients.

The total amount being allocated to that sub-class is $110,806,385.50, which includes interest. Any future administrative and escrow fees will be subtracted from that amount.

The court ruled that claims filed after the deadline of May 19, 2008, but before Feb. 28, 2012, would be accepted, provided they are determined to be eligible for payment. This impacts 343 claims.

Claimants whose total payment would be $25 or less will not receive a payment, Rust said. Some 135 claims fell into this category.

The payments will be done in two steps. Claimants will receive approximately 85 percent of their payments during the initial distribution and the remaining 15 percent during the second distribution. However, they will be paid in full in cases when the second amount totals $25 or less.

Some diamond dealers who bought directly from De Beers or its competitors are entitled to file claims in the direct class.