Connect with us

Headlines

Former Jeweler Arrested on Fraud Charges

mm

Published

on

He had lived abroad for nearly 10 years.

BOSTON – The former owner of a well-known Boston-area jewelry chain, Alpha Omega Jewelers, has been arrested in Los Angeles on fraud charges, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Raman Handa, 67, formerly of Lexington, MA, was arrested Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport as he returned to the U.S. from India, where he had been living for almost 10 years.

He’s accused in a scheme to defraud the company’s former lenders, according to the Justice Department.

A 2011 indictment unsealed this week charges Handa with 12 counts of wire fraud. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Feb. 24. His first court date in the U.S. District Court in Boston, where charges were filed, has not yet been scheduled.

According to the indictment, Handa was the owner of Alpha Omega Jewelers, a fine watch and jewelry retailer in the Boston area. From May 2007 to December 2007, Alpha Omega experienced severe financial troubles, and had difficulty keeping current with loans it had with several banks, according to the Justice Department.

As part of the scheme to defraud Alpha Omega’s lenders and in order to obtain additional loans, Handa allegedly fabricated inventory on reports that were submitted to the banks. These reports were used by the banks to calculate the credit limit for Alpha Omega, and included inventory, such as luxury watches and high-end items from Indian jewelry vendors, that Alpha Omega never in fact possessed.

Advertisement

On Dec. 15, 2007, Handa and his family abruptly left the U.S., according to the Justice Department. After discovering Handa’s departure, Alpha Omega’s lender took control of the company and conducted a detailed review of Alpha Omega’s inventory. According to the indictment, the review revealed over $7 million dollars in missing or unaccounted for inventory.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular