NEW YORK, Dec 20: Nehal Modi, the brother of fugitive jewellery merchant Nirav Modi, has been charged by a New York prosecutor in an alleged $2.6 million fraud carried out through a multilayered scheme to cheat one of the world's biggest diamond companies.
Announcing the charges against Nehal Modi on Friday, the prosecutor, Cy Vance, said, "While diamonds maybe forever, this flawed scheme was not, and now Mr Modi will face the clarity of a New York Supreme Court indictment."
Modi was charged in the state supreme court with "grand larceny in the first degree" for allegedly "fraudulently obtaining over $2.6 million worth of diamonds from a diamond wholesale company located in Manhattan," said Vance, who is the prosecutor for the city's Manhattan district.
The crime of grand larceny in the first degree under New York State laws is theft involving more than $1 million and it carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
According to the New York Post, Modi told the court he was not guilty of the charge and was released without bail.
In a short video on the New York Post website, Modi is seen walking with a man who may be his lawyer in what appears to be the corridor of a court building. Asked about the case, he replied, "There's nothing about the case."
Asked about the Interpol notice, the man accompanying him, said, "We are not discussing anything about the case, I told you that."
Nehal Modi is wanted in India in connection with an alleged Rs 13,500 crore (about $1.9 billion) fraud involving the Punjab National Bank, and at the request of India the Interpol has issued a Red Notice, which is a request to law enforcement worldwide to arrest him pending extradition. - IANS