JVC Speaker: Jewelers should expect more ‘Big Brother’ in their lives

Former Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Leslie Crocker Snyder, a possible future candidate for Manhattan District Attorney, said jewelers should expect more government scrutiny in this age of terrorism fears and the Patriot Act.

“When you see that Ramsey Yousef financed the first World Trade Center bombing with the sale of diamonds, you should expect that your industry will be subject to much greater government scrutiny,” she said. “You have to accept that not only is Big Brother watching you, but it will watch you even more carefully. There may be some government over-reaching, but that’s why you have high-priced attorneys.”

Snyder made her remarks Friday at the annual luncheon of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

She said the industry should not fear “cooperation when you have nothing to hide.”

She also called for a crack-down on people selling counterfeit goods, saying that buying a counterfeit bag is aiding and abetting a crime just like buying drugs.

“People take great glee in getting a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag and don’t realize they are funding terrorism,” she said.

New York City Deputy Commissioner of Small Business Services Mark Newhouse, who, on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, greeted the attendees and thanked the industry for its contribution to the city.

JVC bestowed its annual Stanley Schechter Award on Ollie Kean of Helzberg Diamonds, for his work as membership chairman.