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 Post subject: Former Fred Leighton Owner Arrested
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Hitting the JCK Online wire this morning:
Quote:
Former Fred Leighton Owner Arrested
By Rob Bates, Senior Editor, and Lindsey Wojcik, Editorial Assistant
Posted on November 22, 2010

Ralph Esmerian, former owner of legendary jeweler Fred Leighton and well-known rare jewels dealer, has been arrested for fraud in conjunction with the company's Chapter 11 filing.

Counts include bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, and wire fraud.

A complaint, filed by U.S. postal inspectors, alleges that, following Fred Leighton’s 2008 bankruptcy, “Esmerain repeatedly and systematically embezzled property belonging to Fred Leighton and other debtor entities, sold it, and converted the proceeds for his own use.”

Esmerian bought Fred Leighton in 2006. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2008. A year later, it was purchased by jewelry manufacturer Kwiat.

“Ralph Esmerian has no association with our company whatsoever, and this has no impact on us,” says current CEO Greg Kwiat.

Esmerian could not be reached for comment. According to news reports, he is due in Manhattan court Monday Nov. 22.


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