Eastbourne jewel dealers due in court

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Four jewel dealers who allegedly duped investors into buying bogus diamonds and hived off £100,000 in profits to Spain have had a date set down for their trial.

Michael Simmons, 53, from Lion Hill, Stone Cross and Adam Leach, 28, from Hambleton Close, Eastbourne – along with Adam Simmons, 27, of no fixed address, and Lee Miller, 31, from Sackville Road, Bexhill – are accused of running a year-long scam through their Brighton-based firm No1 Gems Ltd.

The four men appeared at Southwark Crown Court last December and are due to appear in court again on Monday June 17 for a pre-trial review.

Their trail is set for four weeks starting on Monday July 29.

Prosecutors say the company executives invited investment bids for portfolios of naturally-sourced diamonds from across the world.

But it is alleged they knew the jewels were not real and conspired together to cream off the profits of the scam.

They pleaded not guilty to fraudulent trading, transferring criminal property and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court last year.

Prosecutor David Durose said the proceeds of the alleged scam is currently estimated to be £98,000, but could be significantly higher than that.

It is alleged the fake diamonds were made and sold through the company between October 31 2011 and September 12 2012.

All four defendants denied conspiracy to defraud, and two counts of fraudulent trading. Adam Simmons and Michael Simmons denied one count each of transferring criminal property. Leach and Miller pleaded not guilty to acquiring, using, or possessing criminal property.

No1 Gems Ltd described itself as a unique international boutique diamond investment company.