ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A man who collected more than $500,000 in diamonds and jewelry through a high-end jewelry scheme will spend seven years and eight months behind bars.

From November 2016 to September 2018, Cory Smith, 32, and others conspired to defraud diamond and jewelry retailers and wholesalers, according to U.S. Attorney Byung "BJay" Pak. He was convicted of interstate transportation of stolen property on May 13, 2019. He plead guilty. 

"Smith repeatedly exploited the trust of diamond and jewelry dealers to defraud them," said Pak. Smith was able to get away with the scheme for some time, "by taking advantage of the fact that many transactions in the industry are done by memo financing," he added.

Memo financing is defined as 'a type of consignment arrangement under which diamond or jewelry dealers will borrow diamonds or jewelry from a supplier, and provide payment only once the items have been sold.

Smith managed to achieve the trust of wholesalers and jewelers by presenting himself as an employee of well-established dealers, then provided contact information for real jewelry stores should questions arise. Once the items were shipped, Smith would have the shipper (UPS, FedEx) reroute the destination to a residence. Smith then used runners to move the jewels from Atlanta to North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Along with his eight year sentence to prison, he is sentenced to three years of supervised release and must pay $567,669.70 in restitution. 

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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