AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Williamsville jeweler who is accused of selling fake diamonds to his customers pleaded not guilty in village court, Friday. Paul Blarr pleaded not guilty to three counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. He waived his right to a felony hearing, and now his case will be sent to a higher court.
Prosecutors say they have about 50 people who claim they’re victims. Authorities are currently vetting the process to see which ones have a case. A handful of his clients that say they were ripped off were also in court.
People who bought jewelry from Paul Blarr say they weren’t only his customers, they were his friends and he betrayed their trust. They all bought diamonds from RSNP Diamond Exchange in Williamsville.
Ever since the arrest, customers have been getting their diamonds checked out. Some were relieved to find out the diamonds were real. Others say they unearthed a disappointing reality.
Customer Tracey DiGiacomo said, “You feel betrayed. You put your trust in him you feel betrayed.”
Blarr’s defense attorney says his client is a victim because he thought he was selling real diamonds.
Defense Attorney Charles Marchese said, “We understand why the Amherst Police investigation is focused on Mr. Blarr but we believe the investigation has to go beyond Mr. Blarr to where these diamonds originated and they were purchased under the belief that they were real.”
Blarr’s attorney says it’s too early to tell if customers will get reimbursed.