La Jolla Jeweler Guilty of Embezzlement, Grand Theft

A jury convicted a former La Jolla jeweler of stealing valuables that customers asked him to resell on their behalf.

Karl Winchell, 79, was found guilty of 10 felony counts Tuesday, including grand theft and embezzlement. He faces up to nine years and four months when he is sentenced next month.

Prosecutors said he had committed the crimes while running Winchell’s Jewelry on Wall Street in La Jolla. The shop has since been shuttered due to rising rent costs.

According to a criminal complaint, Winchell stole money and personal property worth more than $950 from each of 12 victims — some of whom are elderly.

A few sued Winchell to get their property back before the case became a criminal one. Winchell’s civil attorney previously told NBC 7 his client paid everyone back with interest.

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