The New York Diamond Gang.
No doubt you have lately noticed a good deal in the papers about a gang of swindlers wli > have boon playing the diamond game pretty freely. There are supposed to babout a dozen persons in the gang, and the half of them women—regular confidence women, of course. The modus operand! is very simple. It is necessary, to begin with, to have a couple of pawnbrokers and two or three diamond brokers in the gang. When the gang is ready for business, one of its members, “ a lady in distress,” perhaps, puts an advertisement in the Herald ” asking some capitalist to realise her diamonds from pawn, as they are in great danger of being sold. The capitalist appears and has a talk with the afflicted woman, who is usually very handsome, and exceedingly talented in the tongue. She tells him all about her imaginary troubles, works vigorously on Iris sympathy, and occasionally goes so far as to make some demonstrations of affection. He agrees to visit the pawnbroker ' next day and see about the diamonds. Ten to one he knows nothing about diamonds, but ho means to he wide awake in this affair, and is dead sure that no one can got ahead of him. He calls on the pawnbroker irext day with the interesting and distressed creature, probably a pretended widow who has excited his sympathy. He asks what sum has been lent on them, and is told SISOO. But are they worth that I Oh, yes, and much more. The capitalist wants to know how he can find out. The distressed widow then takes her cue. Perhaps the pawnbroker will be so kind as to let his clerk take the dia--1110 ids to an expert, who can tell the gentleman what they are worth. Certainly; so the clerk takes the diamonds, and he and the lady and gentleman go off to find an expert. The capitalist does not know where to look for one. The clerk finally remembers one, a well-known diamond broker in the neighborhood. He is one of the gang, but when the parties enter his shop, of course he does not know any of them. The diamonds are shown, and his opinion as an expert is asked as to their value. He looks them over carefully, and thinks they are worth from $2500 to S3OOO. The woman had said they had cost her husband S3OOO. They return to the pawnbroker’s and matters are arranged. The capitalist (we may as well call him that, though perhaps he is worth SIO,OOO all told) hands over theslsoo and receives the diamonds. He is to receive ten per cent, interest until the diamonds are redeemed, and perhaps a bonus as well. The transactionis over and the part'es separate. The capitalist tells some friend the next day. The friend suggests that it might be well to look into things a little deeper. A, reputable jeweller, perhaps Tiffany, is consulted. He says the diamonds are probably worth S2OO. Off goes the capitalist in a rage to find the woman who had swindled him. She had folded her tent in the night time and had silently gone away. The pawnbroker is visited, but he does not know the woman, and he is not lending money upon diamonds at present. The expert is called upon, and he sticks to it that the diamonds are worth from 2500d01a. to SOOOdols. Will he buy them for ISOOdoIs ? No, he is not buying diamonds just now. ; The market is dull and he has a large stock on hand. It is clear to the capitalist that it is a first-class swindle, and he thinks all the parties are in it. But the chief swindler .is gone and he can get no trace of her. The game has been played over and over again in twenty different ways. The police lately caught a woman who has been identified by several persons as ono of the chief operators. She denies it flatly, and it may not be easy to convict her.—“ Hartford Times. ”
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The New York Diamond Gang., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 29, 2 December 1879
The New York Diamond Gang. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 29, 2 December 1879
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