A Howell, NJ businessman, already charged with securities fraud, is now accused of selling fake diamonds, police said Tuesday.
Brian D. Winters, 33, advertised real diamonds on the Internet but sent to customers in nine states and three countries cubic zirconia or nothing at all, said Richard Bush, information officer for Berkeley police. Cubic zirconia is a synthetic substance used as an inexpensive diamond substitute.
Winters' company, Diamonds by Jacob, is at 527 Vanderbilt Ave. in the Bayville section of Berkeley, Bush said.
So far, police have identified 15 victims who were sold a total of approximately $20,000 in jewelry, Bush said. None of them is local, Bush said.
"But we expect a lot more to come, from looking at his records," he said.
Bush said Berkeley police received a complaint from the police in Roseville, Minn., where a 27-year-old woman who had bought a ring for $5,000 from Winters' company realized it was fake.
On Friday, after a three-week investigation, the Berkeley detective bureau executed a search warrant at Winters' home on Colts Neck Road in Howell, Bush said.
Bush said police seized Winters' computers and records for Diamonds By Jacob. Police also recovered cubic zirconia and phony gemologist reports, he said.
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