Diamonds / Industry

Man Pleads Guilty to Diamond Smuggling


An Arizona man who’d been indicted for attempting to smuggle more than 65 diamonds into the United States from Brazil has pleaded guilty to one charge of smuggling goods.

Guilherme Cipriani of Scottsdale was indicted in April for attempting to smuggle 14 loose cut diamonds and 53 rough stones from São Paulo, Brazil, into the United States through Miami International Airport.

According to an Aug. 2 filing in Florida federal court related to his plea, Cipriani had been questioned at random by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the Miami airport on Nov. 10, 2022. After the agents searched his bag, Cipriani admitted he had purchased the diamonds in São Paulo, knew that he needed to declare them, and intended to sell them in the United States for a profit.

None of the diamonds carried a Kimberley Process certificate, which is required for imports of rough diamonds. Cipriani also did not declare the shipment on the customs form he filled out prior to arrival.

As part of his guilty plea, Cipriani agreed to forfeit the 14 cut and 53 rough diamonds. A charge of providing a false statement to a federal agency has been dropped.

Cipriani’s attorney, Frank Quintero, declined comment, citing local rules.

Top: A Customs agent (photo courtesy of Customs and Border Protection)

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By: Rob Bates

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