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A New Zealand jeweller has been placed under house arrest for selling fake diamonds
A New Zealand jeweller has been placed under house arrest for selling fake diamonds

Diamond fraudster was once a celebrated jeweller

An award-winning New Zealand jeweller has been found guilty of fraud and theft involving fake diamond jewellery, and will remain under house arrest for 12 months.

Diamond Jewellers owner Dale Edward Mooney will remain in house detention as he finds a way to repay more than NZ$90,000 (AU$82,310) following multiple sales of fake diamond jewellery spanning six years, New Zealand Times reported.

The Hamilton jeweller faced court last month for defrauding a number of customers and leaving one couple more than NZ$60,000 (AU$55,000) out of pocket when he swapped authentic diamonds for a cubic zirconia.

One customer reportedly said she paid NZ$60,000 towards a piece of jewellery that Mooney told her was worth NZ$92,500 (AU$84,600). It was subsequently valued at NZ$4,000 (AU$3,660).

Other cases included a victim who purchased a ring from Mooney for a discounted price at NZ$6,500 (AU$5,945), originally offered at NZ$7,995 (AU$7,310). The New Plymouth woman later found out the ring was only valued at NZ$4,400 (AU$4,040).

Mooney’s jewellery business was well recognised in the community prior to the revelation of his charges. The 43-year-old’s business won the 2014 Business Of The Year in the Hamilton Central Business Association Awards.

Mooney was found guilty of theft and fraud charges at Manukau District Court in June, and was ordered to pay NZ$90,436 (AU$82,715) in reparations to his victims, however none have reported the retrieval of any compensation.

DE Mooney and Company Ltd was placed into liquidation with liquidators currently seeking more than $300,000 for creditors. Mooney has moved back to Manurewa, Auckland, where he is serving his home sentence.

The officer in charge of the case, Hamilton Police Constable Jason Bishop, said anyone who had bought a ring from Diamond Jewellers, formerly based at 509B Victoria Street, and was concerned about its authenticity, should get a valuation.
Anyone with any concerns regarding their jewellery purchases has been asked to contact Hamilton Police.

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