Businesses in the vaunted Diamond District literally had a thief operating in their midst, authorities said Wednesday.
The owner of Arnage Diamonds, on W. 47th St., Godel “Gary” Sezanayev, was rounded up by the FBI today along with 11 other men and accused of running a years-long scheme that allegedly netted about $10 million by preying on other diamond dealers.
The feds accused the 12 men of stealing more than $9.8 million in diamonds from dealers in New York, Las Vegas and Mumbai using a series of schemes, including writing bad checks and forging documents, to convince their victims to part with their jewels before receiving payment.
When they did pay cash, it was often just another rouse, the feds said. In one scheme, the thieves got away with paying just $12,300 for more than half-a-million in diamonds by wrapping wads of $1 bills in a $100 bill, the feds said.
“The vast majority of the notes in the Duffel bag were $1 bills, which had been stacked and concealed beneath $100 bills, and bound together with rubber bands,” according to the criminal complaint.
Nine of the 12 were rounded up by the FBI’s organized crime squad late Tuesday and early morning Wednesday. They are expected to be arraigned in federal court this afternoon. Three remain at large.
In one example, Sezanayev allegedly tried to bankrupt another Diamond District dealer by convincing the man to bring four parcels of diamond to his office on credit.
Once back at his own office, the dealer, who had a diamond company in India, learned from other Indian businessmen not to trust Sezanayev, the feds said. But it was too late.
He returned with an employee to Sezanayev’s office and demanded cash for the diamond. But Sezanayev said he had already moved the jewels to his “factory,” also located on 47th Street, the feds said.
Together they walked to the factory and knocked on the door, but no-one answered. Sezanayev claimed that the factory was closed, the feds said.
“Take me to court .. I pay you when I feel like it,” Sezanayev alleged shouted when the same diamond dealer demanded his money back at a later date. “Nobody can do s–t to me. If I need, I f–k somebody if I want.”
In the Vegas scheme, which was a set up by the feds, Sezanayev teamed up with Arkadiy Israilov to rip off an FBI confidential source, who was attending the JCK jewelry industry show at the famed Mandalay Bay hotel, the complaint said.
After the heist went south, Israilov threatened to rob the confidential source’s business at the JFK show, the feds said.
Israilov also threatened the life of another FBI confidential source who he believed had done the deal without him.
credit to nypost.com