Crime

Nehal Modi Convicted of Grand Larceny

CrimeJul 19, 2022

Nehal Modi Convicted of Grand Larceny

The former Samuels CEO and brother of Nirav Modi was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining diamonds from Lev Leviev Diamonds.

Nehal Modi, the former CEO of Samuels Jewelers and brother of Nirav Modi, was recently convicted by a New York State Supreme Court of grand larceny in the first degree.
New York—Nehal Modi, the former CEO of now-shuttered Samuels Jewelers and brother of embattled diamantaire Nirav Modi, has been convicted by a New York State Supreme Court of grand larceny in the first degree.

Modi was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining more than $2.6 million worth of diamonds from New York-based wholesaler LLD Diamonds, also known as Lev Leviev Diamonds, recently made famous by its connection to the Tinder Swindler.

“This scheme unfolded in the heart of New York City’s historic diamond district, where Mr. Modi conned and defrauded a Manhattan business out of millions,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. 

“Here, there was clear and conclusive evidence that Mr. Modi obtained these diamonds under false pretenses and used them for quick cash.”

In March 2015, Modi reached out to LLD, falsely stating he had negotiated a deal to sell Costco nearly $800,000 worth of diamonds, as per a release from District Attorney Bragg.

LLD allowed Modi to purchase the diamonds on credit, with full payment expected within 90 days.

Modi did not sell the diamonds to Costco, but instead pawned them the following day at Modell Collateral Loans for $450,000 for his personal gain.

From April to May 2015, Modi reached out to LLD three more times, taking an additional $1 million worth of diamonds to supposedly sell to Costco.

He made a series of payments to LLD but used most of the proceeds from the diamond sales for his own personal use and other business expenses, according to the D.A.’s office.

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When the bills came due, Modi falsely stated he was having an issue with Costco but said he would pay his debt.

In August 2015, Modi once again reached out to LLD, falsely stating Costco wanted to buy more diamonds.

LLD allowed Modi to take more diamonds, on consignment this time, under the condition that Modi could not sell these diamonds without LLD’s authorization.

And, with Modi’s debt at nearly $1 million, LLD asked for a partial payment upfront.

Modi, however, had already contacted Modell Collateral Loans to set up the sale before even receiving the latest diamonds from LLD, said the D.A.

After picking up the diamonds, Modi sold most of them the same day to Modell for $300,000 and the rest to various retailers at a discount from LLD’s consignment price.

Eventually, LLD discovered the fraud and told Modi he had to either pay his debt or return the diamonds, but the diamonds were gone, as were most of the proceeds.

LLD reported the fraud to the Manhattan D.A.’s office, who handed the case to a team of investigators.

Detective Joseph Metsopulos from the NYPD’s Major Case Squad, who received the John J. Kennedy Award at the 2022 AGS Conclave, also assisted in the investigation.

Bragg advised any company or individual who believes they have been the victim of theft to call the Financial Frauds Hotline at 212-335-8900.

Modi’s lawyer Roger Bernstein told Rapaport he plans to appeal the conviction. Sentencing is set for July 22.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.
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