TWO New York jewellers have been charged with hiring men to dress as Hasidic Jews and pretend to rob their failing shop, so that they could claim €5m in insurance.
Mahaveer Kankariya and Atul Shah are alleged to have arranged for the men to carry out the diamond raid on New Year's Eve 2008.
They are said to have attempted to disable their shop's CCTV system by pouring drain cleaner on it. However, this failed and potentially incriminating images were preserved. Authorities found footage of them, two hours before the armed 'raiders' arrived, emptying the safe and filling it "with empty jewellery boxes" that were "strewn around the room by the fake robbers", prosecutors said.
"They were going broke," said Eugene Hurley, an assistant district attorney. "They arranged a fake robbery to collect $7m."
Lawyers for the men claimed the incident, at Dialite Imports, was a real robbery and there was no substantive proof the owners were involved.
Mr Kankariya (44) and Mr Shah (49) are charged with grand larceny and insurance fraud. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. (© Daily Telegraph, London)