April 22, 2003
GIA Legal Actions Stop Counterfeit Diamond Grading Reports
Through a series of legal actions in three countries, the Gemological Institute of America halted an international operation using counterfeit GIA Diamond Grading Reports to support diamond sales. The sales were mostly over the Internet.
GIA filed a lawsuit in Chicago alleging counterfeiting against Moti Weisbrot, the leader of the counterfeiting activity, and others who participated by either producing counterfeit reports or agreeing to sell diamonds accompanied by the counterfeit documents. GIA is obtaining permanent injunctions against the participants in these actions to stop the counterfeiting activities. GIA also filed a counterfeiting lawsuit against Weisbrot in Israel and GIA initiated a criminal prosecution against him in Italy.
The legal actions are the result of an investigation that began in late February, when GIA attorneys and investigators and a number of law enforcement agencies followed tips from sources inside and outside the gem and jewelry industry. GIA says a relatively small number of diamonds were used in the actual scheme.
All diamonds sold with the counterfeit Grading Reports were clarity enhanced. (Clarity enhancement involves filling diamond fissures with a solid substance such as a glass that reacts to light similarly to diamond, making the fissures much less visible,improving the apparent clarity of the diamond.) As a policy, the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory does not grade clarity enhanced diamonds. Not only were the documents counterfeit, they represented diamonds that would never receive a GIA Diamond Grading Report.
"The public places great trust in the accuracy and integrity of GIA Diamond Grading Reports, and we go to great lengths to preserve that trust. The counterfeit reports in this case were intended to add value to clarity enhanced diamonds by manipulating the publicıs reliance on the GIA report," said William E. Boyajian, GIA president. "We took these legal actions in keeping with GIAs mission to protect the interests of both the public and the gem and jewelry industry."
All GIA Diamond Grading Reports and other Laboratory Reports incorporate security features including a hologram, security screen, microprint lines, chemically sensitive paper, and other proprietary security components.
If you question the authenticity of a GIA Report or the validity of the information, call the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory (760) 603-4500 or fax (760) 603-1814. Examples of GIA Diamond Grading Reports or GIA Diamond Dossiers can be found on GIA's Web site.