By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – A Birmingham jewelry buyer has been sentenced to 151 months in prison after pleading guilty to devising and executing a scheme to defraud a client out of $12 million.

Joseph Gregory Dumouchelle, 61, was sentenced by United States District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith.

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Dumouchelle was the owner of “Joseph Dumouchelle Fine and Estate Jewelry Buyers, Sellers, Appraisers, and Auctioneers,” and started to negotiate the purchase and sale of a diamond known as the “Yellow Rose,” in 2018, according to the Department of Justice.

He told a client that the diamond could be purchased for $12,000,000 and then sold for more, and he sent a wire transfer to the client, with instructions for the money to be sent to his own account, and not the sellers. This was unknown to the client.

Officials say the client then transferred the money and Dumouchelle used it to pay his debts and for other personal expenses.

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Judge Goldsmith determined that total fraud loss, including other victims of his fraud scheme, was $25,308,216 and the restitution Dumouchelle owed was $25,206,401.

“White collar criminals may use sophisticated methods and apparently legitimate businesses, but their crimes amount to nothing more than lying to get money. Victims were often targeted because of their involvement in the jewelry investment, purchase, and auction trade, or were family members and friends of Dumouchelle. Victims were lulled into believing Dumouchelle’s false promises because he held himself out to be an expert with valuable connections that would provide them substantial profits.” said United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

He was ordered to forfeit $12 million for the fraud he committed and after he is released from prison he is ordered to serve three-years of supervised release.

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