Jeweller scraps customers’ wedding bands for cash

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David McLaughlin told clients items were still waiting to be polished.

According to a story that first appeared in the Herald Scotland, an Irvine-based jewellery retailer has admitted to fraud and theft after scrapping and pawning customers’ wedding rings to solve a "cash flow" problem.

David McLaughlin, who ran Goldsmith in Irvine, Ayrshire, targeted more than 80 people over 12 months, stealing jewellery with a total value in excess of £70,000, with less than half of the items recovered.

According to statements made at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on March 10 and reported by Herald Scotland, McLaughlin deceived clients by pretending their jewellery was in being stored in a safe or still had to be polished. He also returned a diamond ring to one female customer set with a fake stone.

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McLaughlin admitted fraud and theft at his business between November 2009 and December 2010. Items of jewellery were left with McLaughlin for cleaning, repairs or remodelling, but were never returned.

It is understood that much of the jewellery was taken to Cash Generators to be sold. Defending solicitor-advocate James Irvine said McLaughlin was ashamed and recognised the consequences of his actions.

He is due to be sentenced next month and has been released on bail pending further background checks.

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