FBI agents last week arrested two Manhattan Diamond District businessmen and 10 other people in an alleged conspiracy to hijack Federal Express trucks they believed contained millions of dollars worth of diamonds.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said in a complaint that Brian Greenwald, president of Doppelt & Greenwald Diamonds, and Roni Amrussi, of diamond wholesaler Davidov & Amrussi, helped organize the armed robbery of a FedEx truck in December 2007 and a thwarted holdup planned for last Thursday. Authorities were able to stop the robbery based on information gathered over 12 months from surveillance, wiretaps and two cooperating witnesses in the 2007 case.
Authorities said in the first robbery, a pair of gunmen hijacked the FedEx truck they believed contained diamonds and kidnapped the driver. The thieves, however, could not unload the tractor-trailer’s contents, abandoned it in Brooklyn and released the driver. None of the truck’s containers were missing or open when police found the vehicle.
Amrussi’s attorney had no comment. Attorney Murray Richman, whose office represents Rivera and Greenwald, said both would plead not guilty at a hearing set for today.
In the latest case, authorities said they arrested members of the crew who were to take part in the robbery shortly before it was to happen. Three of the suspected gunmen had arrived from Puerto Rico. The arresting officers found a 9 mm. pistol in the Chevrolet Trailblazer in which the suspects were traveling near a FedEx facility on Manhattan’s West Side.
Authorities said Greenwald helped plan both hijackings with Amrussi and an acquaintance, Hector Rivera. Law enforcement officers arrested Greenwald and Amrussi near their Manhattan homes and Rivera near his home in Queens. The three men have been charged with conspiracy and robbery, which carry potential 20-year prison sentences. Rivera and Amrussi face additional firearms charges, which could result in life imprisonment. The nine other alleged conspirators face similar charges.
In the federal complaint, investigators also detailed a three-year-old robbery at Doppelt & Greenwald, in which they believe Greenwald was involved. Authorities said in November 2005 two gunmen dressed as FedEx deliverymen held up the company’s office at 580 Fifth Avenue and fled with about $4 million to $5 million in diamonds.
Greenwald filed an insurance claim that is still being investigated, naming Amrussi as the owner of some of the stolen goods. Authorities said Greenwald has failed two polygraph tests in that investigation and refused a third to be administered by police.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)