A former manager of a Huntington jewelry store pleaded guilty to stealing more than $137,000 worth of jewelry from her customers, District Attorney Ray Tierney announced Wednesday.
Laura Bee, 59, of Lake Grove, who formerly managed Ever Love Jewelry in
Huntington Village, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of third-degree grand larceny.
“Over almost three years, this defendant used her position as the manager of a jewelry store to scam her friends and unsuspecting customers,” said District Attorney Tierney. “This defendant took advantage of her position for personal gain, and my office will continue to prosecute professionals who steal from their customers.”
According to the investigation and the defendant’s admissions during her guilty plea allocution, from Sept, 27, 2019, to June 26, 2022, Bee agreed to take possession of various jewelry items, valued at approximately $31,000 for the purpose of selling on behalf of her friends. Bee kept these items despite numerous demands for the proceeds of the sale or the return of the items.
Between Oct. 7, 2020, and Aug.19, 2022, Bee sold various diamond engagement rings to customers who thought they were buying rings with natural diamonds.
When customers later had their rings appraised, they discovered that the stones were lab grown diamonds, worth significantly less than the natural diamonds they paid for. Using this scheme, the investigation revealed that Bee stole approximately $47,000 from unsuspecting couples.
On Dec. 10, 2021, Bee agreed to repair a broken diamond engagement ring worth $15,000 for a friend. When Bee returned the ring to her friend, the natural diamond had been replaced with a lab grown diamond, worth approximately $2,000.
In addition, from June 22, 2022, to December 7, 2022, Bee stole almost $50,000 from other jewelers who sold her jewelry. Throughout this time, Bee issued six bad checks from the Ever Love Jewelry bank account, knowing the funds in the account would not cover the checks.
On Jan. 16, Bee pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Karen Kerr, to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony. As part of the
plea agreement, Bee is expected to make full restitution.
Bee is due back in court on March 25.