CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A U.S. Attorney has indicted a high-end Charlotte-area jewelry store owner on fraud charges in connection with a multi-million dollar investment scheme involving jewelry, precious metals and gemstones.
Benjamin, Abraham, the 59-year-old owner and operator of Benjamin Diamond and Benjamin Private Jeweler in the SouthPark area of Charlotte has been indicted on 18 counts of concealment and transactional money laundering in fraud scheme totaling $3.5 million, according to U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland.
The indictment alleges that from at least December 2012 through at least May 2017, Abraham executed a financial fraud scheme involving investments in jewelry, precious metals and gemstones, among other things.
Allegations in the indictment include false promises of investments, fraudulent representations of where money was invested, lies to investors about past successes and profits, creating bank accounts under false names, among other deceitful acts to perpetuate the scheme.
During the course of the scheme, Abraham induced at least seven victim-investors to invest over $3.5 million, resulting in losses of more than $2 million.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, Abraham operated a number of businesses engaged in the wholesale and retail sale of diamonds, precious metals and jewelry, including Benjamin Diamonds, LLC, Benjamin Jewelers, LLC, Global Trading LLC, G&I USA, LLC and other related entities.
The indictment also alleges that Abraham directed several financial transactions in one of those accounts to conceal information about the proceeds of the investment scheme, including the nature, ownership and source of the funds. Abraham appeared Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler.
If convicted, Abraham could face a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud, 20 years and a fine of $500,000 for the concealment money laundering charge, and 10 years and a $250,000 fine per count of transactional money laundering charges.
You can read all of the allegations in the press release of the indictment below: