Updated 3:15pm, 11.22.10 with the criminal complaint.
Ralph Esmerian, "The Jewler to the Stars" was arrested this morning by U.S. Postal Inspectors in New York City.He is being charged with bankruptcy fraud steaming from over $210 million loans. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern district of New York filed charges that Esmerian embezzled and double pledged over $40 million.
Mr. Esmerian borrowed over $150 million from Merrill Lynch Mortgage Capital to finance his business and to buy famed jewelry store Fred Leighton of New York.
On April 15, 2008, Mr. Esmerian filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition for Fred Leighton. According to sources Esmerian then embezzled property of Fred Leighton and sold items keeping the proceeds for himself. During the Fred Leighton bankruptcy, it is alleged that Esmerian lied to the Bankruptcy Court.