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Lazare Kaplan Estimates 3Q Sales -31% to $15M

Court to Weigh Criminal Charges Against Antwerp Diamond Bank

Apr 16, 2013 11:57 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Lazare Kaplan International Inc. notified the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it would again be filing a quarterly financial report late for the fiscal period that ended on February 28, 2013. Nonetheless, Lazare Kaplan  estimated that its revenue for the fiscal third quarter fell 31 percent year on year to $15.3 million, while its sales for the first nine months of the fiscal year slipped 38 percent to $50.2 million. The decrease reflected a drop sales of both polished and rough diamonds, according to the company.

Lazare Kaplan has been unable to file its quarterly and fiscal-year financial statements since September 2009 due to what it terms ''unresolved material uncertainties'' concerning  the collectability and recovery of certain assets and potential obligations under certain lines of credit. The company also stated that uncertain economic conditions continue to impact the diamond and jewelry industry. In addition, its litigation with Antwerp Diamond Bank N.V. and KBC Bank N.V., and Lazare's stated inability to timely resolve these material uncertainties, has adversely impacted its ability to transact business.

Once Lazare Kaplan has resolved these issues, it intends to file the current year's first through third quarter  financial statements, as well as  full results for each of its fiscal years that ended on May 31, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to its statement.

Meanwhile, the company updated the SEC on its ongoing litigation with KBC Bank and Antwerp Diamond Bank. In April 2012,  KBC and Antwerp Diamond Bank filed motions to dismiss Lazare Kaplan's $500 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) complaint against them, which a U.S. District Court judge granted on September 5, ruling that the suit must handled in Belgium. Nonetheless, Lazare Kaplan appealed that judge's decision.

On March 21, Lazare Kaplan filed criminal proceedings against Antwerp Diamond Bank in Antwerp, alleging fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. The Belgian judge ordered Lazare Kaplan and Antwerp Diamond Bank to brief their positions on the potential need to suspend the civil proceedings, pending the resolution of criminal allegations. Proceedings in that criminal case are scheduled to commence on May 3 and further proceedings in the civil case are currently scheduled for May 31.

Lazare Kaplan believes that the litigation  have a significant detrimental effect on the company's ability to transact business in the ordinary course.


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Tags: Antwerp Diamond Bank, bank, diamonds, Jeff Miller, kb, Lazare kaplan, litigation, revenue, rico
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