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Jewelers to Pay $16,000 in Restitution for Scheme Targeting Military Families

They were convicted last year.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – A California jeweler must pay restitution in connection with a scheme targeting military families.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered defendants Ramil Abalkhad, owner of Romano’s Jewelers, and Melina Abalkhad, owner of MBNB Financial Inc., to pay the victims $16,440.56 by May 4, 2020.

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Pepsi Launches Engagement Ring Made with Diamond, Platinum and Crystal Pepsi (Video)

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Video: Chicago Estate Jeweler Edward Kahn, Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 103
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Video: Chicago Estate Jeweler Edward Kahn, Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 103

“Individuals who participate in despicable crimes by targeting our young men and women in uniform will pay the price,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We hope today’s announcement brings healing and closure to the victims of this scheme. Our office will continue to protect all Californians from all types of fraud – large or small. The California Department of Justice will always have the backs of our military families.”

Romano’s Jewelers had several retail locations in California, including stores near Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, according to a press release from Becerra’s office. The Abalkhads were alleged to have targeted young Marines and sailors, encouraging the purchase of jewelry using MBNB Financial for credit. According to the criminal complaint, Ramil Abalkhad failed to provide legally required disclosures about monthly payments, interest rates and others terms of financing.

Those customers who fell behind on their payments were allegedly harassed by the defendants’ debt collectors. In addition, the complaint alleged that Romano’s Jewelers used debt collectors who falsely posed as attorneys and illegally threatened servicemembers with court martial and other military disciplinary actions.

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The California Department of Justice filed a 14-count felony complaint charging the defendants with conspiracy to violate the Unruh Act, which protects consumers who buy goods or services on credit, and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects Californians against unlawful debt collection practices.

Becerra announced the sentencing of the defendants in December 2018. Ramil Abalkhad was sentenced to three years of felony probation, including a requirement that he serve 90 days in jail.

He will also be required to cancel outstanding MBNB debts owed by the victims identified in the criminal complaint and was also ordered to remove any negative credit reporting by MBNB from the victims’ credit history.

Melina Abalkhad was sentenced to complete a misdemeanor diversion program for her role in operating Romano’s Jewelers affiliate MBNB Financial.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Pepsi Launches Engagement Ring Made with Diamond, Platinum and Crystal Pepsi (Video)

It’s worth about $3,000.

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Pepsi has released an engagement ring made that, while sporting a lab-grown diamond, is also infused with Crystal Pepsi.

The ring consists of a 1.53-carat diamond on a platinum band, AdWeek reports.

Pepsi fans can tweet their ideas for the perfect proposal for a chance to win the sparkler. In the official contest rules, Pepsi says the prize is an “IGI Laboratory Grown Diamond Crystal Pepsi engagement ring” with a value of about $3,000.

According to AdWeek, the diamond “was made by boiling down Pepsi’s clear beverage to its most basic carbon form, resulting in a powder.” The powder was incorporated in the diamond-growing process.

Entries must include the hashtags #PepsiProposal and #Contest, and the @Pepsi Twitter account must be tagged. They can include up to four photos and one video up to 30 seconds long.

A winner will be announed the week of March 16.

Pepsi created the promotion with VaynerMedia.

Watch Pepsi’s video about the ring:

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Video: Chicago Estate Jeweler Edward Kahn, Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 103

He operated the House of Kahn.

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Edward Kahn of estate jewelry company House of Kahn has died at age 103.

CBS Chicago reports that Kahn was one of the oldest Holocaust survivors.

He built House of Kahn, which has locations in Chicago and Palm Beach, FL, with his wife, Adele. Just six weeks ago he made public his plans to retire, with his daughter Tobina Kahn to take over the business.

Kahn came to the U.S. from Romania in 1951 with less than $100 in assets, having lost his parents and sister to the Holocaust.

Watch the video:

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Video: Jeweler Wins Fight for $500,000 Snow Promotion Claim

Customers will get refunds for jewelry they bought during the holidays.

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An Idaho jeweler that held a “snow promotion” will be refunding its customers for jewelry they bought during the holiday season, KREM-TV reports.

Clark’s Diamond Jewelers in Couer D’Alene, ID, wrote in a Facebook post Monday that it had “received notification from the insurance company that our policy has been officially accepted and the award will indeed be paid out!”

The store had promised that if it snowed 3 inches or more on Jan. 11, it would refund purchases made between Nov. 22 and Dec. 31. Those purchases amounted to about $500,000.

The claim had originally been denied. Weather Command, a verification firm that works with the jeweler’s insurer, at first said snowfall on the date in question had been less than the required amount.

The store had vowed to fight for approval, believing that snowfall had indeed exceeded 3 inches.

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