LA jeweler indicted on charges of mail fraud
Odessa, Texas--A Los Angeles jeweler who once served as a reserve deputy sheriff recently was indicted on federal mail fraud charges after he allegedly tried to cheat a Texas couple for whom he agreed to help sell a diamond.
According to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division, Billy Nubil Lulo, owner of Global Rings Jewelry Inc., sold a 22.03-carat emerald-cut diamond ring to Odessa residents Herb and Suzie Stokes in 2001.
In 2005, the Stokes decided to sell the diamond, and Lulo agreed to take possession of it and attempt to market it on their behalf. In the years following, he periodically displayed the ring for sale on his website.
Court papers allege that in 2010, Lulo sold the Stokes’ diamond as a loose stone for about $145,000 in cash and merchandise, without the couple’s knowledge or permission, and never gave the Stokes any money from the sale.
In 2012, Herb Stokes asked that Lulo return to the stone to him in Odessa because he believed he could find a buyer in Texas.
Following that request, court papers state that Lulo “falsely and materially agreed to do so” in both a telephone conversation and via written correspondence, despite the fact that he already had sold the diamond. According to court papers, the jeweler also proposed returning the $100,000-plus ring to Stokes via UPS, even though the company only will insure merchandise worth up to $50,000.
Eventually, the indictment alleges, Lulo returned the ring’s setting to the Stokes via a UPS envelope and packaged 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.”
Lulo’s Los Angeles-based attorney Arvand Naderi said he cannot comment on the specifics of the case because it is pending, but did say his client, who is an upstanding citizen with decades of experience in the jewelry industry, has entered a not guilty plea.
Lulo has operated Global Rings Jewelry Inc., a Los Angeles retail and wholesaler of fine jewelry, since 1983. He also served as a reserve deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County, a volunteer position, from 1990 until his recent termination due to these charges, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore confirmed.
“We are going to fight this case and resolve it the best way possible,” Naderi said.
If convicted, Lulo faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the one count of mail fraud.