This jewelry caper ends with former Fred Leighton owner Ralph Esmerian arrested on charges of fraud and theft.
While it lacks the sexy shadows and giant money bags of an old gangster jewelry heist, the details behind Esmerian's years of deception, international diamond smuggling and secret offshore bank accounts certainly packs its own intrigue. Adding to the story is the company's status as a go-to jeweler for the stars—not a red carpet event goes by that's not studded with Fred Leighton bling.
Esmerian is being accused of doubling up on millions of dollars-worth of loans and, even wilder, of stealing jewels from Fred Leighton and pocketing the sale profits. The booty was declared missing after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2008.