Ex-Boston cop charged in jewelry scam

The brother of gangster Stephen Flemmi was charged yesterday with ripping off criminals and selling a cache of stolen diamond jewelry for $ 40,000 in 1996 while he was working as a Boston police detective, the Boston Globe reported.

The charges against Michael Flemmi are contained in a federal money-laundering indictment and come on the heels of another indictment returned last November charging him with hiding an arsenal of weapons for his brother and fugitive South Boston crime boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the newspaper reported.

Michael Flemmi, 63, who retired from the Boston Police Department last July after 32 years on the force, is accused of being part of a conspiracy by relatives and associates of Stephen Flemmi to ”rip off” other criminals-knowing that fear would keep them from retaliating, the newspaper reported.

The indictment alleges that Michael Kohout, who worked in the jewelry industry, stole diamond jewelry, including wedding bands and bracelets, valued at over $100,000. But, while trying to peddle the stolen jewelry, Kohout was allegedly robbed by members of Flemmi’s ring who posed as buyers.

Michael Flemmi ”maintained an illicit relationship with a dealer in precious metals, stones, and jewels located in downtown Boston,” according to the indictment. He is accused of using the unidentified dealer as a broker in July 1996 to sell the stolen jewelry for $ 40,000 to another Boston gems dealer.

Michael Flemmi is currently free on bail pending trial this fall with his brother on the gun charges. The earlier indictment charges Stephen Flemmi with killing 10 people and Bulger with killing 19.

The new money-laundering case stems from an ongoing investigation by State Police and the US Drug Enforcement Administration that resulted in the murder charges against Bulger and Flemmi.