Alleged Ponzi Man Accused of Multitude of Sins

     DALLAS (CN) – A Dallas man is charged with running a Ponzi scheme involving precious metals and secretly replacing diamonds with phony, cubic zirconia stones, state prosecutors said.
     Bedros “Pete” Minassian, 45, was arrested this week after a two-year joint investigation by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service.
     He was charged with theft of more than $200,000, a first-degree felony, and theft of between $20,000 and $100,000, a third-degree felony.
     He is also being held on a third probation violation regarding driving under the influence, according to county records.
     Minassian ran Addison-based Goldstream Inc., a precious metals buyer and reseller. The company touts “The Goldstream System,” a multi-level marketing “compensation plan” that recruits “prospectors” to buy a $49.95 kit to start earning commissions on gold transactions, according to its website.
     Prosecutors say it was a Ponzi scheme that inflicted over $400,000 in known losses, with additional victims who have not yet come forward.
     Minassian is accused of tampering with jewelry meant for cleaning and resizing, secretly replacing high-quality diamonds with cubic zirconia stones.

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