National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Jeweler pleads guilty in mail fraud case

By Michelle Graff

January 06, 2014

Odessa, Texas--A Los Angeles jeweler accused of selling a Texas couple’s diamond, not paying them for it and then trying to make it look like the stone got stolen while in transit has pled guilty, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Midland/Odessa confirmed to National Jeweler.

On Dec. 27, Billy Nubil Lulo of Global Rings Jewelry Inc. in Los Angeles entered a guilty plea in federal court to one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Sentencing in the case is set for March 13, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

According to the indictment in the case, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division, Lulo sold a 22.03-carat emerald-cut diamond ring to Odessa residents Herb and Suzie Stokes in 2001.

In 2005, the couple opted to sell the diamond and Lulo agreed to help them, marketing the piece on his website periodically for the next several years.

In 2010, Lulo, who also once worked as a reserve deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, sold the diamond as a loose stone for $145,000 in cash and merchandise without the couple’s permission. He never told them about the sale or gave them any money from it, court papers state.

Two years later, Herb Stokes asked Lulo to return to the stone to him because he believed he could find a buyer in Texas.

The jeweler never mentioned that he sold the stone and agreed to return it in a both a telephone conversation and via written correspondence.

Eventually, Lulo did send the couple just the setting via UPS, packaging it in a way 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,” court papers state.