On Dec. 27, Los Angeles jeweler Billy Lulo pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, after allegedly selling a couple’s diamond without telling them and then trying to make them think it got lost in the mail.
According to an indictment filed Aug. 28 in Western Texas federal court, Lulo, owner of Global Rings Jewelry in downtown Los Angeles’ Jewelry District, sold a 22.3 ct. emerald-cut diamond ring to two Texas customers in 2001. Four years later, they were interested in selling the diamond, and Lulo agreed to market it on their behalf.
In 2010, he allegedly sold the ring’s center stone for $145,000 in cash and merchandise, without the couple’s knowledge or permission, and kept the sale’s proceeds. Two years later, the couple asked for the ring back. Lulo then allegedly told them he was sending it back by UPS, despite the fact it was already sold.
He then sent the ring back, minus the diamond, the indictment continues. He did “this to make the Stokes believe, when the package was opened and the diamond was discovered to be missing, that a UPS employee or some other third party had stolen the diamond while it was in transit,” the indictment charges.
Lulo faces up to 20 years in prison and must pay full restitution. He will be sentenced Mar. 31.
Local news sources also noted that Lulo was a 20-year reserve deputy for the Los Angeles Country Sherriff’s Department. He has since been relieved of that position.