ARIZONA NEWS

3 Valley residents indicted in scheme to sell fake Native American jewelry

Mar 8, 2019, 12:15 PM
(AP File Photo)...
(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – Three Valley residents, including a Scottsdale store owner, have been indicted for their roles in a scheme to sell counterfeit Native American jewelry, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 38-count indictment Feb. 26 alleging that seven people were involved in creating the pieces in the Philippines and selling them in Arizona, Texas and other states, according to a DOJ press release.

Peoria’s Richard Dennis Nisbet, 70, and his daughter, 31-year-old Laura Marye Lott, were accused of conspiring to import the jewelry, which Lott is accused of delivering to retail stores.

Waleed Sarrar, 43, of Chandler is also named in the indictment for advertising counterfeit pieces as authentic Native American work and selling them from his store, Scottsdale Jewels.

The owner of a store in San Antonio, Texas, and three people involved in producing the jewelry in the Philippines also were indicted.

The fraud and money laundering scheme, which went on for several years, according to the DOJ, violated several federal laws, including the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

Multiple agencies were involved in investigating the case, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Phoenix’s Homeland Security Investigation office.

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3 Valley residents indicted in scheme to sell fake Native American jewelry