Diamonds / Industry / Legal

Utah Jeweler Charged With Selling Undisclosed Lab-Grown Diamonds


The Utah County Attorney’s Office has charged local jeweler William David Leavitt, 53, with two felony counts for allegedly selling lab-grown diamond jewelry that he misrepresented as containing natural gems.

According to prosecutors, a man who said he’d purchased over $200,000 of jewelry from Leavitt was later told by his uncle—a business associate of Leavitt’s—that several customers had complained Leavitt was selling undisclosed lab-growns. Leavitt is based out of Carlsbad, Calif., but owns a store in Provo, Utah.

The purported victim had the pieces appraised and allegedly “found out the heart-shaped diamonds earrings he paid $58,000 for were worth approximately $12,000. and the ruby and diamond ring he paid $20,000 for was worth approximately $5,000, due to [both pieces] containing lab-grown diamonds instead of natural diamonds,” said the criminal complaint, which added that the victim “reported he was always told and under the belief the items all contained natural diamonds and were never represented as being lab-grown.”

Leavitt has been charged with one count of communications fraud and one count of criminal simulation.

In February, Leavitt was charged in a separate case with five felony counts for allegedly selling fake van Gogh, Dalí, and Monet paintings misrepresented as genuine. The customer in that case also claimed to have traded in some jewelry with Leavitt for a diamond bracelet that contained undisclosed lab-growns.

The bracelet was said to be “worth $18,000, not the traded value of $68,000,” according to the charging document, also filed by the Utah County Attorney’s Office. The filing also said Leavitt had opened an escrow account for the customer funded by a red diamond, which also turned out not to be natural.

Leavitt’s listed attorney did not return JCK’s request for comment by press time.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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By: Rob Bates

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