31-year-old Douglas Applewhite of Jacksonville, Florida, was recently accused of making millions of dollars off of nine pawn shops by selling them synthetic moissanite and telling them it was actually a diamond, according to a report in a local newspaper.
He is charged with grand theft and defrauding and obtaining property.
Authorities first found out about the apparent scam after receiving a call from a pawn shop owner, who then called nine other pawnshop owners who said the same man sold the exact same ring to them.
Several of the shops used a diamond tester and a moissanite tester to see if the diamond was the real thing. However, moissanite reads as “diamond” in most standard diamond testers, and authorities noted that you need a specific moissanite detector to tell it apart.