National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Retailer accused of larceny may face more charges

By Brecken Branstrator

April 01, 2014

Williamsville, N.Y.--Police have charged a New York jeweler with three counts of grand larceny--and may charge him with more--for allegedly selling man-made stones that he misrepresented as diamonds, according to the local police department.

Detective Herbert Leising, with the police department in Amherst, N.Y., the town in which the village of Williamsville is located, told National Jeweler that Paul Blarr, the 47-year-old owner of RSNP Diamond Exchange on Main Street in Williamsville, allegedly sold customers what he claimed were real diamonds but were actually moissanite and other man-made stones.

So far, Blarr has been charged with three counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud, all of which are felonies. The investigation continues into Blarr’s business practices.

Leising did not indicate how the suspect was pleading in regards to the charges, and Blarr’s attorney, Charles J. Marchese, did not respond to a request for comment from National Jeweler.

However, Marchese recently was quoted by The Buffalo News as saying that his client “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars believing these diamonds were real. We are cooperating with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, and we’re going to try and make everyone whole. I’d ask people to be patient.”

The police department is using its Facebook page to urge customers who feel that they may be victims to take the stone to a jeweler to have it tested and then to reach out to them if they believe they’ve been affected. There are believed to be dozens of victims, including even the possibility of a few police officers.

Leising said that they have received more than 400 calls from concerned customers since Blarr was arrested on March 21 and news of the charges were made public.

RSNP Diamond Exchange has since been closed but local news reports indicate that signs on the store’s door indicate that Blarr intends to open a new location on Sweet Home Road. Blarr also previously owned a store called Amherst Diamond Exchange.