NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — A Connecticut woman is facing a federal lawsuit accusing her of stealing an idea and business model to reduce gun violence by repurposing illegal guns into jewelry.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Peter Thum of New York against Jessica Mindich of Greenwich and her company.

The lawsuit says Mindich implemented the idea in connection with a gun buyback in Newark, N.J., and rode a wave of publicity after the Newtown school shooting to turn it into a lucrative partnership with MTV.

Thum says he started a program of buying AK-47 assault rifles from governments in Africa, repurposing them as jewelry which is sold to buy back more weapons. He says he confidentially disclosed the details of his concept and business structure with Mindich at a conference.

Mindich’s attorney declined to comment, saying he hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

CBS Connecticut reported earlier that Mindich’s company – Jewelry for a Cause – sold their jewelry as part of their “Caliber Collection.” Items created from repurposed gun parts were sold for much as $375, according to the company’s website.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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