47th Street Jeweler Sues American Express

February 9, 1999

47th Street Jeweler Sues American Express

Joseph Holzman, president of York Gem Co. in New York City, is suing American Express for $125 million, claiming its catalog refused his goods and those of all other diamond district Hasidim after they wouldn't pay alleged bribes to a catalog executive, according to a report in today's New York Post.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Holzman said an American Express catalog general manager and vice president allegedly asked Holzman for a bribe during a business meeting at the American Express offices. At least three other diamond district jewelry firms – I. Halperin, Levy Brook and Shaulson – were cited in the lawsuit as victims of the alleged boycott.

American Express denied the allegations but had no other comment, according to the Post. American Express mails more than 6 million catalogs annually to its cardholders, selling a wide range of high-end goods, including luggage, electronics, sporting items and jewelry.

- by Michael Thompson