Three operators of a Beverly Hills "boiler room" jewelry sales operation were found guilty of fraud by a Los Angeles federal jury in connection with a scheme to swindle customers out of diamonds, bonds and cash.
Found guilty after a monthlong trial were Steve Angelica, 35, of Los Angeles; Stephan Small, 27, Sherman Oaks, and his brother, Leslie Small, 23, Los Angeles.
Assistant U.S. Atty. William F. Fahey said the defendants operated as Kimberly International Gem Corp. and swindled hundreds of customers out of diamonds and cash with a variety of false claims, including promises of investing in a sapphire mine in Thailand.
Two other defendants in the case, Robert McCallum, 41, of Agoura, and Bruce Kaufman, 31, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty before trial. A sixth defendant, Jerry Owens of Los Angeles, is a fugitive.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Ann Rymer set sentencing for Aug. 25.