International gem dealer Nehal Modi, 41, was busted by New York police in an alleged $1.4 million fraud. Modi was charged in Manhattan Supreme Court with grand larceny.
Nehal Modi is no stranger to fraud accusations. He faces money laundering charges in India, where he is accused of abetting his more infamous brother, billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi. In May, the Interpol issued a red alert notice for those allegations.
As charged, between March and August 2015, Nehal Modi procured diamonds worth about $1 million from LLD Diamonds USA for a purported sale to wholesale store Costco, but ended up selling the stones and pocketing the proceeds for personal or business use. Modi made “a series of payments” to LLD, but a large portion remains unpaid.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr said in a statement: “While diamonds may be forever, this flawed scheme was not, and now Mr. Modi will face the clarity of a New York Supreme Court indictment. My office will not allow individuals who have the privilege of soliciting business in Manhattan’s iconic diamond industry to defraud our businesses or consumers.”
Nehal Modi was released on Friday without posting bail. His attorney Roger Bernstein said this was a “commercial dispute” and that his client is not guilty.
If convicted by the Manhattan court, Modi faces jailtime.
As reportedly widely, Nehal’s brother Nirav, 49, is wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated $2 billion scam. He remains at Wandsworth Prison in London since his arrest in March 2019.