Sentencing delayed as customers wait for jewelry

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Eight-nine people lost $630,000 when they purchased fake jewelry at a store in Amherst.

Paul Blarr was scheduled to be sentenced Friday, but the case was adjourned until October 6.

Prosecutors say they need more time to return jewelry that was on consignment. Unhappy customers want it back.

Several customers showed up for Blarr’s sentencing Friday morning. One woman says she lost about $50,000. Most of the jewelry she bought from her friend of 20 years turned out to be fake.

Blarr admitted that he sold counterfeit jewelry, including fake diamonds, for the last 16 years. It happened at his two companies, “RSNP Diamond Exchange” and “Amherst Diamond Exchange,” between 1988 and 2014.

The DA’s Office says prosecutors have been exploring other issues concerning Blarr’s businesses, such as items given to him for repair or for sale on consignment.

Blarr promised to cooperate, but sources say he didn’t until just last week. One victim says she is still waiting to get her jewelry back.

Victim Shirleen Tomaselo said, “I was in the day before he got arrested, he said, ‘I’m going to sell it for you.’”

Victim Katie Eberlin said she has lost between $30,000 and $50,000. Eberlin said, “He’s been invited to family weddings. He’s been just ridiculous, I would have never believed it.”

Blarr could face up to 50 years in prison. That is the maximum sentence under New York State law for a non-murder offense.

His attorney says he will pay restitution, but the victims don’t think they will get their money back.

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