LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fight over a giant emerald isn’t over.
A state judge in Los Angeles last month found that a trading company, FM Holdings, had established clear title to the so-called Bahia Emerald, which weighs 752 pounds (341 kilograms) and has been appraised at $372 million.
But Brazil contends the emerald was illegally mined and smuggled out of the country, and wants it back.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., issued a restraining order that prevents anyone from transferring, selling or otherwise disposing of the gem until the Brazilian criminal case is settled. The order also requires the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to keep storing the emerald.
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The U.S. government sought the order at the request of the Brazilian government.
A call to an attorney for FM Holdings wasn’t immediately returned.