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Judge Dismisses $7M Fraud Case Against Jeweler

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He was accused in a scheme to defraud lenders.

 A judge has dismissed a fraud case against the former owner of well-known Boston-area jewelry chain Alpha Omega Jewelers.

Raman Handa, 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 was accused in a scheme to defraud the company’s former lenders, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel in Boston determined that the indictment against Handa violated his right to a speedy trial, Law360 reports. According to Law360, the judge claimed that the government had not tried hard enough to make a timely arrest.

A 2011 indictment unsealed in February charges Handa with 12 counts of wire fraud. It stated that from May 2007 to December 2007, Alpha Omega experienced severe financial troubles, and had difficulty keeping current with loans it had with several banks.

It was alleged that as part of the scheme to defraud Alpha Omega’s lenders and in order to obtain additional loans, Handa fabricated inventory on reports that were submitted to the banks.

According to the Justice Department, on Dec. 15, 2007, Handa and his family abruptly left the U.S. After discovering Handa’s departure, Alpha Omega’s lender took control of the company and conducted a detailed review of Alpha Omega’s inventory.

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The indictment stated that the review revealed over $7 million dollars in missing or unaccounted for inventory.

India New England News reports that prosecutors’ next step is yet known. It’s possible they will appeal Zobel’s decision.

Read more at Law360

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