Connect with us

Headlines

Jewelry Business Owner Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Case

mm

Published

on

The case was investigated by the Secret Service and FBI.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The owner of a jewelry business in Johnston, RI, has been charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Gerald Kent, 51, is accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme that defrauded a debtor finance company of more than $3.6 million dollars, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island said in a press release. The matter was investigated by agents from the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI.

Kent’s company primarily sells jewelry using websites such as Groupon.com and Zulily.com, according to the release. WJAR-TV reports that he is president of KentsJewelry.com Inc.

Authorities allege that Kent submitted fraudulent invoices to a factoring (debtor finance) company based in Chicago, mostly from Groupon and Zulily, which resulted in payments to Kent of nearly $5 million dollars.

He’s alleged to have:

  • Created hundreds of fraudulent invoices.
  • Created a fraudulent clone of Groupon’s site.
  • Enlisted coconspirators to pose as Groupon employees.
  • Opened bank accounts in the names of Groupon and Zulily in order to deceive the debtor finance company.

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. Factoring companies work with businesses to provide working capital in order to grow their businesses without having to wait for outstanding accounts receivables to be paid.

Advertisement

Kent was arrested Wednesday at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. He appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing on July 26.

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