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DA looking for victim impact statements ahead of former Williamsville jeweler parole hearing

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Williamsville jeweler serving time for defrauding customers over almost 20 years will soon be in front of a parole board, and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office wants to hear from his victims.

Paul J. Blarr, 56, of Amherst, was the owner of RSNP Diamond Exchange on Main Street in Williamsville. In 2015, he was sentenced to serve an indeterminate sentence of 23 to 69 years in prison, later adjusted to 10 to 20 years behind bars, according to the DA’s office.

The jeweler pleaded guilty to several felonies after it was discovered he sold fake diamonds and other false gems to more than 200 victims. The dupes were dealt between January 1997 and March 2014.

He also admitted to stealing authentic diamonds and precious gems and replacing customers’ jewelry settings with fake stones, the DA’s Office added. Blarr also agreed to sell customer jewelry on consignment and not provide payment or return the items.

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The 56-year-old pleaded guilty to eleven counts of third-degree grand larceny, three counts of first-degree scheme to defraud and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny. He was ordered to pay $928,266 in restitution.

In the seven years since Blarr was sentenced, none of the money has been repaid.

Blarr is slated to go before the New York State Board of Parole in January 2023. The DA’s Office notified more than 200 victims about the upcoming hearing with information outlining how to submit a victim impact statement.

DA John Flynn encourages any additional victims to contact his office so a statement can be provided to the parole board by December 9, 2022.

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Victims can contact Assistant District Attorney Brian P. Dassero of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit by calling (716) 858-2559.

“This case may have the most victims of any white-collar crime prosecuted by this office. This defendant admitted to scamming his customers over the course of nearly two decades,” DA Flynn said. “While we have attempted to contact everyone who was impacted by his crimes, some victims may have moved or changed their phone number since his conviction. I encourage anyone who was a victim of this jewelry scam to contact my office as soon as possible for more information on how to submit a statement as part of the upcoming Parole Board review.”

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Patrick Ryan is a JANY award-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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