- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - An Orange County jeweler who stole diamonds from clients and replaced them with fake stones has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

Charles Hanson of Newport Beach was sentenced Friday for theft and burglary.

Prosecutors say Hanson replaced the diamonds on rings and earrings he was servicing with cheaper materials.

The scheme was discovered in 2014 when two friends who’d paid Hanson $16,000 to upgrade an engagement ring had it appraised and discovered that the “diamond” was cubic zirconium.

They contacted police and investigators found several more cases in which Hanson had stolen the genuine stones from customers.

A jury convicted him last fall of felony and misdemeanor counts.

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