Jeweller’s prison life after alleged robbery
Michel Germani, 65, is accused of faking the robbery at the Germani Jewellery store on George St in the Sydney CBD on the evening of January 19 in an alleged attempt to defraud his insurer.
He was on Monday charged with aggravated robbery and depriving a person of liberty, attempting to dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, publish false misleading material to obtain property, and participate in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.
Mr Germani was expected to apply for bail at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, but his defence lawyer Andrew Stewart adjourned the matter for a week.
He did not give a reason, but outside court Mr Stewart told media his client was not feeling well behind bars.
NSW Police allege Mr Germani was at the store with another staff member assisting two male customers who had an appointment on the evening of January 19.
Mr Germani initially told police one of the men allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened his female employee, while the other customer allegedly threatened him and demanded access to the safe.
Both staff members were allegedly restrained before the two men fled the store.
Police attended the store and began investigating before referring the matter to the robbery and serious crime squad under Strike Force Ingestre.
Detectives arrested two men, aged 37 and 57, in April and they remain before the courts.
Mr Germani was arrested at Day Street Police Station on Monday and charged.
NSW Police allege the store owner was involved in planning and co-ordinating the robbery in an attempt to defraud an insurance company.
According to court documents, Mr Germani is accused of making a false statement after the robbery and intended to claim insurance worth more than $2.8m.
Detective Superintendent Joe Doueihi told media on Monday that Mr Germani was accused of planning and co-ordinating the robbery as well as defrauding the insurance company.
Superintendent Doueihi said Mr Germani allegedly lodged a claim for a “substantial amount of jewellery of a sizeable dollar amount” with his insurer.
He said the female employee was left traumatised by the incident and sustained some injuries.
“The female staff member was not party or did not have any knowledge of the (alleged) arrangements that were made by the store owner,” Superintendent Doueihi said.
“She was purely an innocent agent and the victim of what she believed was a robbery.”
Superintendent Doueihi said further arrests were anticipated.
Investigations under Strike Force Ingestre continue.