A former reserve deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was charged with mail fraud after he allegedly stole a diamond that he was supposed to have sold for a Texas couple, the FBI said Wednesday night.
Billy Lulo, 47, a veteran reserve officer was fired by the department Wednesday after he was arrested by federal agents in connection with the theft of the diamond, which was valued $500,000 to $1 million, according to authorities.
Public records show that Lulo owns a jewelry store called Global Rings on Hill Street in Los Angeles' Jewelry District. He could not be reached Wednesday night for comment.
Lulo was selling the 22-carat diamond for the couple. But when it wasn't sold, they asked that it be returned, according the FBI.
The couple allegedly received a package in the mail from Lulo that was empty, said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles. She said that the investigation is ongoing.
Lulo was booked Wednesday at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles and released. He is scheduled to appear later this month in federal court in Midland, Texas.
Lulo was hired by the Sheriff's Department in 1990 and was a level-one reserve, which meant he carried a gun and was assigned to patrol duties, a department spokesman said.
He worked at the Century Station, which patrols Lynwood and adjacent areas. He was relieved of duty in November 2012.
"He was relieved as soon as we got wind of this," department spokesman Steve Whitmore told The Times. "The sheriff is just not going to stand for this."