OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – A Metro Detroit jeweler with a well-known last name is facing federal wire fraud charges.
Joseph DuMouchelle, 58, is the owner of Joseph DuMouchelle Fine & Estate Jewelry Sellers in Birmingham. He was arrested Thursday, accused of fraud involving three customers and one very rare diamond.
He was formally charged Thursday afternoon. DuMouchelle claims he sold estate items for the singer Nat King Cole and also auctioned off a 7.5 carat engagement diamond president Donald Trump gave to his ex-wife Marla Maples years ago.
DuMouchelle is facing charges in an exceptionally complicated tale of using one customer’s money to pay others and still coming up short.
The complaint lists three customers allegedly bilked:
- Thomas Ritter of North Dakota. A family friend lost something in the order of $3 million.
- William Noble of Dallas, Texas. He claims to have done a lot of business with DuMouchelle and lost some $450,000.
- Jonathon Birnbach of New York claims to have lost between $2.5 to $3 million
Much of the complaint has to do with a diamond DuMouchelle bought. Federal authorities said the diamond was purchased from a Texas estate and is called The Yellow Rose Diamond. It’s valued at $12 million.
Ritter said he partnered on the purchase and DuMouchelle promised him 75 percent of the profit. Ritter said he never saw that money.
Later DuMouchelle offered Noble the diamond at a discount. Noble declined. The Yellow Rose eventually sold for $16 million.
In court there was concern that DuMouchelle has no place to live. He’s going to live with his brother while the case proceeds.
The court also assigned him a lawyer because there’s concern he can’t afford one. His bankruptcy filing from October shows he owes creditors $21 million and he has numerous civil lawsuits against him in Oakland County along with an arrest warrant.