Crime

Joseph DuMouchelle Sentenced to 12 Years Behind Bars in $12M Fraud

CrimeAug 01, 2022

Joseph DuMouchelle Sentenced to 12 Years Behind Bars in $12M Fraud

The Michigan auctioneer and appraiser also has to pay restitution totaling $25 million for other victims of his fraud scheme.

2022_Gavel.jpg
Detroit—Joseph Gregory DuMouchelle, a jewelry buyer, auctioneer and appraiser with decades of experience, was sentenced to a little over 12 years in federal prison last week after pleading guilty to wire fraud.  
 
The case against DuMouchelle, the 61-year-old owner of Joseph DuMouchelle Fine & Estate Jewelry Buyers, Sellers, Appraisers and Auctioneers in Birmingham, Michigan, was filed in federal court in Detroit in November 2019.
 
The original criminal complaint outlined two situations involving alleged wrongdoing on DuMouchelle’s part, but he pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving just one jewel—a 77.12-carat VS2 natural fancy vivid yellow diamond known as “The Yellow Rose.” 
 
The scheme involving the Yellow Rose began in late 2018, when a man named Thomas Ritter, whom DuMouchelle knew through family, contacted the jeweler to collect on a $430,000 debt. 
 
Instead of paying, DuMouchelle offered Ritter an opportunity he claimed would make him more money. He could buy the Yellow Rose for $12 million, sell it for $16 million and the two would split the profit. 
 
To trick Ritter into believing the investment was legitimate, DuMouchelle instructed him to wire transfer the $12 million into an account he claimed belonged to the seller. 
 
But, “as DuMouchelle well knew and intended, the wire transfer instructions were to his own account. After the client unknowingly wired the money into DuMouchelle’s account, DuMouchelle quickly withdrew the funds and used them to pay his personal and business debts and expenses,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan said in a news release about DuMouchelle’s sentencing. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith sentenced DuMouchelle to 151 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. 
 
It was part of his plea agreement that other victims of his fraud scheme and their losses would be used to calculate the amount of time he could potentially serve as well as the amount of restitution he owed. 
 
Goldsmith determined DuMouchelle owes $25.2 million in restitution. The court also ordered him to forfeit the $12 million from the Yellow Rose fraud. 
 
DuMouchelle’s attorney, Gerald Gleeson II of Miller Canfield in Detroit, declined to comment on the sentencing. 
 
“This defendant defrauded investors by convincing them he was buying and selling rare jewelry for big profits,” said James A. Tarasca, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division. 
 
“Instead of actually conducting those transactions, DuMouchelle used the victims’ money to help maintain his expensive lifestyle. The success of this investigation is the result of a strong partnership between the Birmingham [Michigan] Police Department and the FBI’s Detroit Metropolitan Identity Theft and Financial Crimes Task Force.”
 

The Latest

Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona watch
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Elton John’s Leopard-Print Rolex Roars at Auction

Two Cartier watches also topped their estimates at Christie’s “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” evening sale.

Buccellati header
TrendsFeb 22, 2024
Buccellati to Open ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ Exhibition

Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.

813-carat “Constellation” diamond in rough form
SourcingFeb 22, 2024
Lucara, HB Group Partnership Revived

It is another 10-year sales agreement in which all the larger rough recovered from the Karowe mine will go to HB Group for manufacturing.

GIA id100
Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell of Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Heritage Auctions Adds 2 New Hires to West Palm Beach Office

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.

Weekly QuizFeb 22, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsFeb 21, 2024
On Data: January Was a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Independent Jewelers

Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Stock image of diamonds
GradingFeb 21, 2024
GIA’s Same-Day Service Now Available Everywhere

The new service, introduced to stem fraud related to lab-grown diamonds, will be offered at no cost for the time being.

flashforge pic.png
Brought to you by
WaxJet: Revolution in Jewelry Manufacturing

The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.

Jam + Rico Claire’s jewelry
CollectionsFeb 21, 2024
Jam + Rico Debuts Second Claire’s Collection

Founder Lisette Scott was inspired by the intricacy, colors, and symbolism of African art and architecture.

Rapaport logo
SourcingFeb 21, 2024
Rapaport to Hold Another Natural Pearl Auction

Viewings start this week in New York and bidding will close on March 8.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsFeb 20, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Life After Rolex

Peter Smith shares advice from independent jewelers who used losing this cornerstone brand as a catalyst for reinvention.

Neile Adams McQueen and Steve McQueen
AuctionsFeb 20, 2024
Jewels from Neile Adams McQueen Shine at Bonhams

All 13 lots belonging to the actress and first wife of Steve McQueen sold at the recent “California Jewels” sale.

Stuller bench jeweler
Events & AwardsFeb 20, 2024
Stuller to Host Bench Jeweler Workshop in March

Registration is also open for its “Battle of the Benches” challenge.

Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers
IndependentsFeb 16, 2024
Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers Dies at 99

Gorman was an industry trailblazer, serving as the first female treasurer of Jewelers of America.

Jade Ruzzo gold and diamond Tennessee Torque necklace
CollectionsFeb 16, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Ruzzo’s Tribute to Tennessee

The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.

Jared Goff and Claudia Cividino
MajorsFeb 15, 2024
Detroit Lions’ QB Jared Goff Going to Jared

Goff, whose fans hold up “He Went to Jared” signs at games, has signed a partnership with the retailer.

De Beers Venetia diamond mine
SourcingFeb 15, 2024
De Beers’ Production Down 8% in 2023

The company recovered 31.9 million carats of diamonds in 2023, compared with 34.6 million in 2022.

Gina D’Onofrio Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 15, 2024
Heritage Auctions Names New Co-Director of Fine Jewelry

Industry veteran Gina D’Onofrio has rejoined the auction house.

Indian Diamond and Colorstone Association (IDCA) awards
Events & AwardsFeb 15, 2024
IDCA Hands Out Awards in Tucson

The association also celebrated its 40th anniversary.

A selection of engagement rings
TrendsFeb 14, 2024
5 Engagement Ring Trends for 2024

From three-stone rings to fancy shapes, experts weigh in on what consumers could be looking for this year.

Boucheron Power of Couture
CollectionsFeb 14, 2024
Boucheron’s New High Jewelry Collection Pays Homage to Ceremony, History

“Power of Couture” recalls Frédéric Boucheron’s love of fabric using diamonds and rock crystal.

Rough diamonds from Gahcho Kue diamond mine
SourcingFeb 14, 2024
De Beers’ Rough Diamond Sales Improve Slightly

The diamond miner and marketer said “solid” holiday sales in the U.S. helped stabilize the industry.

Jonker I Diamonds
SourcingFeb 14, 2024
‘100 Carats’ Exhibition Opens at LA Museum

A new display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County features dozens of gemstones each weighing 100 carats or more.

Grand Seiko New York City flagship
WatchesFeb 14, 2024
See Inside Grand Seiko’s New NYC Flagship

Located on Madison Avenue, the store is its largest in the world.

GIA logo
GradingFeb 14, 2024
GIA Offering Discounts on Jade Reports

The 20 percent off promotion will run through March 31.

KIL Promotions NYC Spring Jewelry and Object Show
Events & AwardsFeb 14, 2024
KIL NYC Show Returns for Spring Edition

Its second trade event will feature vintage pieces and contemporary collections.

Lydia Courteille Lips ring
TrendsFeb 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: Symbols of Love

When it comes to Valentine’s Day jewels, the fun doesn’t stop at hearts.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy