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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Namibia Man Charged in Wire Fraud Case

Karl Christian Loibenbock, a/k/a “Karl Christian Loibenboeck,” a/k/a “Christian Bock,” of Windhoek, Namibia, was charged today by Indictment[1] with one count of wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

According to the Indictment, from September 2013 to November 9, 2016, Loibenbock falsely represented that he procured and sold high-quality rough diamonds from Angola that were not certified as required by the Kimberley Process.  In reality, Loibenbock was attempting to pass off topaz stones – which Loibenbock procured in Namibia – as rough diamonds to defraud a United States customer.  On November 7, 2016, Loibenbock traveled from Namibia to the United States to complete the sale of approximately 100 carats of purported rough diamonds in his attempt to defraud the United States customer out of approximately $250,000. 

Launched in 2003, the Kimberley Process is an international initiative to prevent rough diamonds from being used to finance civil wars in diamond-producing countries.  The Kimberley Process controls trade in rough diamonds between participating countries through domestic implementation of a certification scheme that makes the trade more transparent and secure.  According to the Kimberley Process, rough diamonds must be shipped in sealed containers and exported with a Kimberley Process Certificate that certifies that the rough diamonds have not benefited rebel movements.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.                                                                     

 

[1]              An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 15, 2016