Mooresville jewelry store owner accused of defrauding customers faces nearly 3 dozen felonies

MOORESVILLE, Ind. -- A Mooresville jeweler is facing nearly three dozen felony charges.

Prosecutors in Morgan County claim the business defrauded more than a dozen customers over several years.

On the corner of Main Street in Mooresville, the owner of Iconic Brilliance is accused of theft, false appraisals and corrupt business practices. The owner only learned about the criminal charges after we walked into her store.

“You broke the news to me that there was anything filed, yeah,” said Lora Richards.

A 50-page affidavit claims Richards repeatedly provided receipts to customers who thought they were buying real diamonds that were actually moissanite, which is worth substantially less money.

Lora Richards

As a result, paperwork shows on numerous occasions customers would take their jewelry to competing businesses and realize the appraisals were significantly lower than Richards claimed.

For her part, Richards blamed a third-party broker for many of her mistakes.

“I bought from a broker and I was just negligent on knowing what I was buying,” said Richards.

“Anybody can make a mistake and she’s made a big one,” said Gerald Turner.

While the affidavit names 18 victims, police say they have talked to several other customers who feel ripped off but lack the proper paperwork for prosecution. Turner, for one, claims Richards took several pieces of his jewelry that remain missing.

“I’m old and I don’t need it, but it’s just aggravating,” said Turner.

“I feel horrible for this situation and am going to take care of every single person,” said Richards in February.

When the allegations first surfaced in February, Richards said she was trying to reimburse all her customers and made the same claim again after learning of the charges against her.

“I fixed everything.  Every single person that had a crime committed against them I fixed, so that’s all I can do,” said Richards.  “I stayed open in order to fix everything.  I could have closed when all this was done, but I didn’t because I wanted to make sure everyone had everything fixed.”

Richards has been arrested and was booked into the Morgan County Jail.

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