Do you know what happened to the Aurifex people who used to be in
Fort Collins, CO? They were mokume designers, too. I bought a ring
from them a while back and need some but I can't
This surfaced in my local paper yesterday, thought it might be of
interest to folks on the list.
Customers say jewelry store owners stole items, payments
By CHRISTINE McMANUS
Customers of Aurifex Fine Jewelry say the former owners of the
recently closed shop stole at least $182,000 in precious
wedding rings, engagement rings and downpayments.
At least nine reports against Aurifex have been filed with
Fort Collins police since September
"Our biggest concern is whether there are customers who have
not come forward yet, either because they don't feel their
case is worth reporting or they don't realize Aurifex has
closed," said Al Brown, Fort Collins police spokesman. "We
want to hear from them, and try to help them."
The shop was owned by Eric and Sarah Griffin.
Eric Griffin said more than 300 customers "got caught in the
middle needlessly" of a sudden break with an undisclosed
"The former partner took off with our customer list and
equipment, among other stuff," Griffin said. "We've been
trying to return everything to people the past month or so,
but it's been difficult."
Fraud investigator Brien O'Malley of Fort Collins Police
Services is looking into reports filed by customers and
wholesale distributors against the 2 1/2-year-old downtown
O'Malley is in the process of contacting the Griffins.
Griffin made headlines in November 2003 when he was involved
in a "Make My Day" shooting in Ault.
After an investigation, the Weld County district attorney's
office found Griffin was protected under the "Make My Day" law
because neighbor Richard Hammock came after Griffin at
Griffin's home, bashing in a front door window, and
threatening him with a board.
Griffin made a public apology after the fatal shooting.
"I've been trying to rebuild my life since then, and it looks
like I'll have to pick up and do it again," Griffin said.
"We're not dishonest and we're trying to put this back
Customers who dropped off jewelry and deposits for custom
design work are worried they will never see their jewelry or
loose stones again. The store at 236 Walnut St. closed around
the beginning of October.
After more than a month of mediation, the Mountain States
Better Business Bureau on Tuesday revoked Aurifex's
The BBB office in Fort Collins began receiving customer
complaints in early October, with the most recent report filed
last weekend, said Marcy Sharf, vice president of mediation at
Mountain States BBB in Fort Collins.
The Griffins on Monday began responding to customer complaints
of theft, more than a week after the BBB's Nov. 22 deadline to
respond to the first certified letter.
Police investigators will determine if the alleged thefts were
intentional, Sharf said. If no criminal charges are filed,
people may choose to file a case in small claims court, Sharf
The voice mail for Aurifex Fine Jewelry has been full for
days. The company Web site was taken down. Two days after
property manager Ross Milliken received a lease termination
letter from the Griffins, he went to check on the shop space
Everything was cleared out, and the locks had been changed.
Several days later, Milliken received a letter from the
Griffins, accusing him of illegally breaking and entering.
Eric Griffin said he was planning to move the business from a
retail spot into a design studio. The transition flopped, he
"This will probably come down to a civil matter in the courts
for years," Griffin said.
Milliken said several people have called him, trying to get a
hold of the Griffins and their jewelry or down payments.