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Bahia Emerald Case Returns to Court July 30

Jul 20, 2010 5:59 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt ordered the parties involved in the Bahia Emerald ownership case back to court on July 30, 2010. The Bahia Emerald, clocking in at 840 pounds, is being called one of the world’s largest rough emeralds. It remains in the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

This stone was recovered in Brazil in 2001, found its way into the U.S. and then onto eBay in 2008, where it was priced at $75 million. But five people have claimed that they own the emerald since it was reported missing from a vault in South El Monte, California during September of that year. Los Angeles authorities recovered the emerald in Las Vegas three months later.

Gem trader Anthony Thomas, who reportedly purchased the rough emerald for $60,000, purported to be the rightful owner and filed a claim with the court. Idaho businessmen  Kit Morrison, Todd Armstrong and Jerry Ferrara of FM Holdings Inc. and Market Link Inc. argued that Thomas’ claim to the title is not legally valid and claimed they were the rightful owners because the emerald was allegedly used as collateral for a diamond deal with Larry Biegler that did not transpire.

The businessmen's attorneys anticipate that the judge will issue a ruling on the dismissal on July 30, as he will not entertain additional legal briefs at this time. If there are any adverse appeals after his ruling, the case will most likely go to trial in September.

LH

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