DMIA Calls for GIA Investigation

The Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association recently asked federal prosecutors to keep investigating the two-year-old Gemological Institute of America bribery scandal, the group announced at a meeting Monday.

“For more than two years, no further detailed information regarding this matter has emerged from the GIA or from your office,” said a letter sent by president Ronald Friedman to the U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice’s Southern District. “We are concerned that the investigation of this affair by your office may have been [superseded] by other investigations. If that is indeed the case, we hope this letter will impress upon you the significant harm to our industry which has resulted from the alleged criminal misconduct.”

It adds: “If members of our industry have engaged in criminal acts such as bribery, fraud, etc., it is imperative that they be exposed and prosecuted … and prevented from continuing to destroy the image and reputation of our industry and our product.”

In January, Friedman met with Harry Chernoff, the prosecutor who has been assigned the case. “There was an open discussion on our part in terms of what we are seeking and what we would like to happen with the case,” Friedman said. “[Chernoff] wanted to know what we knew about the case. I basically said to them: That’s why we are coming to you. Because we would like to know what happened here.”

Still, by the end, Friedman didn’t get any indication of whether the case was still open. “Frankly, I didn’t walk out of the meeting with any other feeling other than the fact that I felt we got our message across,” he says.

Friedman says he is not sure what the next move is, but added: “We are determined to see this through.”