Volume 20, Number 50 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | APRIL 25 - MAY 1, 2008
A diamond dealer who does business with jewelry stores on Canal St. in Chinatown was indicted on Tuesday and charged with stealing $3 million in diamonds that had been consigned to him by other dealers and with making false reports to police that the gems had been stolen from him.
The charges against Alfred Avi Taub, 29, began with a complaint by a group of 45 diamond dealers that Taub had stolen $3.3 million from them between April and May 31 of last year. Diamond dealers commonly consign gems to each other on nothing more than a memo and pay for them when they are sold or return them.
On June 13, Taub told police at the Fifth Precinct in Chinatown that he was carrying more than $1 million in diamonds in a leather bag while visiting Canal St. jewelry stores when someone came from behind, pepper sprayed him and stole the gems.
He subsequently filed a claim with his insurance company for the alleged loss and provided the company and police with consignment memos he claimed represented the stolen diamonds.
But on June 28, the 45 dealers sued Taub, his brother Oren and his father, Shalom, and claimed the Taubs stole the gems after building a credit rating and a reputation as legitimated dealers in the 47th St. diamond district.
On June 27, the Manhattan District Attorney’s detective squad executed a search warrant of Taub’s parents house on Long Island and saw Taub running through the house and into a bedroom closet, according to District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
Detectives found four diamonds and $12,000 in the closet and four more diamonds elsewhere in the house two of which were among those that Taub claimed had been stolen, the district attorney said.
Taub, an Israeli native, was arraigned on Tuesday afternoon when he surrendered his passport and was being held pending posting of $100,000 bail and a May 14 court date. The civil suit against the Taubs and another diamond merchant is pending.
Police arrested William Casey, 43, shortly after 1 a.m. Mon., April 14 inside a Cadillac parked on Varick near Charlton St. and charged him with breaking the back window of the car and stealing several CDs. Police say they also matched his fingerprints to a burglary a week earlier of La Palapa, a restaurant at 359 Sixth Ave. near Waverly Pl. and stealing four laptops. He is being held pending arraignment on May 7, a spokesperson for District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.
Police arrested Eric Williams, 40, at 7:30 p.m. Sat., April 19 and charged him with assaulting his domestic partner, 39, in their apartment at 63 Wall St. Williams is charged with slapping the woman who sustained cuts on the face and a knee injury, police said. He was being held in lieu of $3,000 bail, according to the District Attorney’s office.
-- Albert Amateau