Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman
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Author:  emdee [ Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:59 am ]
Post subject:  To znoEvel

Thanks for adding your comments. As far as the LVZ business, their website is down now. They've probably opened up under a different name, I'd guess, but it seems that the name LVZ is gone. I'm glad that you have received some payments too.

Author:  Rockplanet [ Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have been looking for some recourse to this scam for the past year and have just now located this blog. I have at least $10K "invested" in this scam and would really like to reoup anything I can. Can someone give me the basic list of steps of what I should do to file my claim? I have already emailed Mr. Richard Cinnamo.

I have 5 pieces of which two are carved bears worth virtually nothing. The rest consists of 2 carved cabochons and another carved bear (i was looking for a "3 bears combo" - HA!.

Jewelers I have talked to have pretty much given their condolences on the spot, so I am sure there will be little chance for getting back my investment.

I started to wonder what was going on after "Linda" would always seem to make a "prospecting" tour overseas after each purchase and sound very hungover if I called shortly after her return.

These folks will eventually make a larger mistake and get their just rewards, but this present result is very good to hear!

Thanks for any help!

Author:  emdee [ Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Hi Rockplanet

Hi Rockplanet - I'm sorry you are just now finding this site. On the first page of this discussion there is a list of places that you can contact. I would suggest contacting all of them but -as the rest here can verify, I'm sure- Mr. Cinnamo was the best contact.

Good luck to you - please continue to post here and let us know what you run into or find out. Starkman and Stocker have probably set up shop under different names - maybe the guy they have in custody will lead the authorities to them.

Maybe one day we should all have an art showing of our pieces! LOL


Author:  Rockplanet [ Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:04 am ]
Post subject: 

Actually, a showing may not be such a bad idea! We could post pictures at or the like and then post links. It would be simple to gather them into a Myspace location after that.

Anyone interested?

Author:  smac [ Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Am I too late?

I just found this site as I was interested in finding out the current value of the gems we've been holding since 2000. I thought, Surely the Lucas Van Zenten site should give me an idea... Now I find out there's prob'ly no value to them at all. Augh.
I haven't read the entire thread here, but it seems there was a case taken to trial and some of you got some of your 'investment' back...
Is it too late for me to send in my info and glean some $$?
Thanks for your continued posts so that others can learn how to recover from being duped!
I also plan to send letters to all those orgs listed early in the thread. Thanks for the addresses!

Author:  gemscam [ Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Another scam that sounds familliar

Has anyone heard of this Are these carvings similar to the ones in the (Lucas Van Zenten )scams listed above?? can anyone give me any insight on this? I feel a scam in this

Author:  jane_doe [ Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:17 am ]
Post subject: 

gemscam...while the carving shown are quite beautiful it strongly appears that there is only one market from them to you. If you have money to burn and like a carving then check the certificates carefully and be the proud owner forever a piece of artwork that happens to be made from a poorer quaility ruby or emerald or sapphire...If you're looking for an investment call you mutual fund advisor... :P

Author:  scottiegee [ Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

In regards to tax questions, look at the following:

IRS Form 4684 (and instructions!)

I'm pretty sure this means we can deduct the difference between our documented loss and the checks we received from the court provided we believe that we will not receive any further compensation (which in my opinion we won't).

Comments appreciated.

Author:  scottiegee [ Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

Did some more research. Here are two additional links with pretty good information:

I did some more investigation into my own personal situation and it turns out I didn't lose enough (or I made too much elsewise) to take a take deduction here. But here are a couple important notes for the rest of you in case you qualify:

- You must itemize to take a casualty or theft loss deduction.
- You can only deduct the amount you lost and were not reimbursed beyond $100 PLUS 10% of your AGI. So if you gave LVZ $20,000, got back $12,000 from the courts, and have $75,000 in adjusted gross income this year, you could deduct only $400.
- You have to ascertain the fair market value of your gemstones before and after the theft/fraud. After is easy enough - take it to a jeweler who will tell you it's worth $1. Before is tougher. I would think you could argue it was worth what you paid for it but maybe not - you'll need to do some more investigation into past court cases and see what they decided to do. If you can establish a precedent I would think you'd be ok, otherwise the IRS may say you just overpaid for a cheap heirloom.

Again, not professional advice here, just posting what I think I've learned.

Author:  madzach [ Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

I was wondering if there is still a way for me to recoup some of the money I lost by buying those gems. And if there is how do I do it? I saw that some people got checks for part of what they spent, is that still possible?

Author:  emdee [ Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

madzach - write or call those listed in previous posts.
I wish you luck!! Please keep us informed on whatever you learn.

Author:  Rob [ Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

Has anyone heard of AbuArabia, out of Newcastle, Ontario. They want me to purchase a emerald shield and then sell to along with another item I already have. The $$$ is too good to be true. Thanks for the help!

Author:  emdee [ Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

Rob, I think everyone here would say NO, DON'T DO IT!
Before doing it, contact the people or organizations already listed here. It sounds too much like LVZ to me! Run, run fast.

What is the name of the person who contacted you?

edited to add: Rob, I looked at their website and it seems way too much like Lucas Van-Zenten. I would stop all communication with them. If they are the same, it's a scam.


Author:  Gemster [ Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

From my firsthand experience, I expect you are already a victim if you have bought a piece from them. If it is the same M.O., then the piece came in a plastic container, sealed with wax. If you do not open this, a jeweler cannot inspect the piece to determine if it is real or determine its value. If you do open it, you are unable to prove that the piece came from the perpetrator. The pieces I bought I got appraised (too late) I found out were worth about 1/10 of what I bought them for.

Call a few jewelry and gem stores in your area and explain your situation to them. When I did this, I found this has been going in the gem industry since about 1980.

The reason they operate from Canada is so that by the time you find them and successfully sue them, you have blown all the money that you would get back from them. That's if you win the suit. This is totally contrary to the reason for declaring taxable income from the (supposed) gains, as I suspect they told you.

I recommend you contact the Canadian authorities. They may be listed on page 2 of this thread. If not, find the Canadian Post Office. Mr. Richard Cinnamo of the USPIS in New York was able to help me only because the originator of the gems was in the United States and I live in the U.S.

Author:  emdee [ Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman

Hi Gemster! Hope you are doing well.
I feel as if I know you guys since we shared this "trip" together!
I did send the information from Rob to Richard Cinnamo but I wish Rob would too.
I'd still love to see Linda Stocker in handcuffs! :P


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