In the heart of Salem, Oregon, the glittering world of gemstonesand fine jewelrywas recently tarnished by allegations of deceit and deception. A prominent Oregon jeweler accused of scamming customers, Douglas Wayne Gamble, stands accused of orchestrating a series of fraudulent activities that have left a trail of financial distress and shattered trust in his wake.
In a shocking turn of events, Gamble is facing multiple charges, including misrepresenting lab-grown stones as natural diamondsand failing to return valuable jewelry entrusted to him for repair. This scandal has sent shockwaves through the local community and raised pressing questions about consumer protection and ethical businesspractices in the world of jewelry retail.
A Salem-based jeweler finds himself in legal trouble as he stands accused of defrauding numerous customers, allegedly misrepresenting lab-grown gemstones as natural diamonds, and failing to return jewelry entrusted to him for repair. The accused, identified as 57-year-old Douglas Wayne Gamble, owner of the now-closed Timeless Jewelers, remains in police custody facing an array of charges.
According to a press release issued by the Salem Police Department, Gamble is now confronting five counts of aggravated theft and six counts of theft in the first degree. Under Oregon law, aggravated theft pertains to property valued at $10,000 or more and is classified as a Class B felony. Theft in the first degree involves property exceeding $1,000 in value and is categorized as a Class C felony.
The saga unfolded when the Salem Police Department received complaints in late 2022 from ten individuals who had interacted with Gamble in various capacities, such as consigning, designing, or seeking jewelry repairs. These complainants alleged financial losses and property mismanagement in their dealings with the jeweler.
Some victims claim that they were sold lab-grown diamonds while being led to believe they were natural, or that their genuine gemstones were surreptitiously substituted with synthetic alternatives. Others lamented that they never received jewelry they had legitimately purchased or failed to retrieve items they had entrusted to Timeless Jewelers for repair, according to law enforcement authorities.
Adding to the distress, Timeless Jewelers abruptly shuttered its doors in October 2022, leaving customers in the dark without prior notification or any prospect of reclaiming their consigned or repair-entrusted jewelry. The Salem Police Department has estimated the total losses incurred by victims to be approximately $250,000, a figure they describe as conservative. Ten people who did business with Gamble, who was hired by customers to create, fix, or consign jewelry pieces, said they lost moneyand other things.
In a significant development, Douglas Wayne Gamble surrendered to detectives from the Salem Police Department on September 15. As of September 22, he remains in custody at the Polk County Jail. Kyle Dundas of Miller Bradley Law LLC, the attorney representing Gamble, was unavailable for comment at the time of reporting.
Gamble's bail has been set at $100,000 as he awaits further legal proceedings. Authorities are diligently investigating the case as it unfolds, with the hopes of providing justice to the affected customers. Detectives are asking anyone who has had a similar problem with Gamble, either in the store or online, to call the police right away.
The case of the Oregon jeweler accused of scamming customers serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance in the world of luxury retail. The allure of sparkling gems and exquisite craftsmanship can sometimes cloud the judgment of even the most discerning customers. However, it is heartening to see that law enforcement agencies are committed to upholding the rights of consumers and ensuring justice prevails.
As the legal proceedings against Douglas Wayne Gamble unfold, the Salem community watches with bated breath, hoping for a resolution that will provide solace to those who fell victim to these alleged deceptions. This episode underscores the importance of due diligence when making significant purchases and the significance of transparent, ethical business practices in preserving the integrity of the jewelry industry.