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Raman Handa, Jewelry chain owner of Alpha Omega Jewelers Arrested

Boston NRI Raman Handa, Jewelry chain owner of Alpha Omega Jewelers Arrested at Los Angeles Airport in Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

Can go 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count
Over $7 million dollars in missing or unaccounted for inventory
Arrested after nine years of bankruptcy

Boston February 23, 2017 Shrma/Gary Singh

Boston Area Jewelry Chain owner of Alpha Omega Jewelers , NRI Raman Handa, 67, formerly of Lexington, Mass., was arrested yesterday in Los Angeles after living abroad (India) for almost 10 years following a scheme to defraud the company’s former lenders.

 A 2011 indictment unsealed yesterday charges Handa with 12 counts of wire fraud. Handa is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. His first court date in the U.S. District Court in Boston, where charges were filed, has not yet been scheduled.

 According to the indictment, Handa was the owner of Alpha Omega Jewelers, a fine watch and jewelry retailer in the Boston-area. From May 2007 to December 2007, Alpha Omega experienced severe financial troubles, and had difficulty keeping current with loans it had with several banks. As part of the scheme to defraud Alpha Omega’s lenders and in order to obtain additional loans, Handa allegedly fabricated inventory on reports that were submitted to the banks. These reports were used by the banks to calculate the credit limit for Alpha Omega, and included inventory such as luxury watches and high-end items from Indian jewelry vendors, that Alpha Omega never in fact possessed.

 On Dec. 15, 2007, Handa and his family abruptly left the United States. After discovering Handa’s departure, Alpha Omega’s lender took control of the company and conducted a detailed review of Alpha Omega’s inventory. According to the indictment, the review revealed over $7 million dollars in missing or unaccounted for inventory.

 The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano of Weinreb’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case……
According to Boston Globe report:

  • In 2007, Rattan pledged a $1.5 million mortgage on his Lexington home as further collateral, to seek new investors and explore a sale of Alpha Omega.
  • In January 2008, Alpha Omega then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a reported $34.1 million in debt — including $18.9 million owed to its bank — and asked a court to approve an auction of its $20.62 million in assets.
  • In 2004, sale was $39.6 million,  $35.8 million in 2006 and were expected to fall to $25 million in 2007.

Liquidators bought Alpha Omega that January and sold its approximately $40 million in watches and jewelry before closing its stores. Handa and his family abruptly left the United States and returned to India, and $6.6 million worth of the chain’s inventory mysteriously disappeared. Handa’s $2 million house, used as collateral for a business loan, was sold at auction.
Without a word  or talking to anyone even employees, the Raman Handas disappeared, never to return.When the doors slammed shut, Alpha Omega owed $30 million to dozens of entities.

Raman Handa used to throw lavish parties at his home. Raman Handa, and his wife, Nilma, remain in India. Their daughter, Nidhi, and son, Amit, are back in the United States.

Alpha Omega Owner Flees Country-JCK Magazine | December 20, 2007