D.A. Bragg: Global Diamond Trader Sentenced for Stealing Millions From Manhattan Diamond Company

July 29, 2022

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the sentencing of diamantaire NEHAL MODI, 43, for fraudulently obtaining diamonds from Manhattan-based wholesale company, LLD Diamonds USA, LLC (“LLD”). In total, MODI made false representations regarding a purported deal with Costco Wholesale Corporation to obtain more than $2.6 million worth of diamonds from LLD, also known as Lev Leviev Diamonds, between March and August 2015. MODI was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of Grand Larceny in the First Degree and was sentenced to 3-9 years in state prison.

“Mr. Modi tricked this Manhattan company and pawned and sold diamonds that were not rightfully his on the cheap for his own financial gain,” said District Attorney Bragg. “He has now been held accountable after a New York Supreme Court jury found him guilty of Grand Larceny in the First Degree. If any company or individual believes they have been the victim of theft, I encourage them to call our Financial Frauds Hotline at 212-335-8900.”

LLD reported the fraud to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office after the company discovered that MODI had been selling and pawning diamonds instead of selling them to Costco, as he had deceptively conveyed.  

MODI, who comes from a well-known family in the diamond industry, approached LLD numerous times beginning in March 2015. In order to initially secure diamonds worth nearly $800,000, he falsely claimed that he had a contract with Costco and that the company had agreed to purchase LLD’s diamonds. Based on this lie, LLD allowed the defendant to purchase diamonds on credit. Instead of selling the diamonds to Costco, however, MODI pawned them the next day at Modell Collateral Loans, Inc. for $450,000 for his personal gain.

Between April and May 2015, MODI returned to LLD three additional times and took more than an additional $1 million worth of diamonds for purported sales to Costco that instead were sold or pawned at discount rates. MODI made a series of payments to LLD just before coming back to steal more diamonds and used the majority of the proceeds for personal use and other business expenses. In August 2015, MODI returned to LLD and again falsely claimed that Costco wanted to purchase additional diamonds.  Instead, Modi had already contacted Modell to arrange the pawn of LLD’s diamonds before he had even received them, and after picking up the diamonds, MODI pawned most of them that same day for another approximately $300,000 for himself and sold the remainder of the diamonds to various retailers at large discounts from LLD’s consignment price.

Assistant D.A. Ben Rose and Financial Frauds Bureau Chief Kofi Sansculotte handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant D.A. Susan Hoffinger, Chief of the Investigation Division. Investigative Analyst Courtney Ulrich assisted with the prosecution of the case. Former Investigative Analyst Ethan Ellsworth, Assistant Financial Investigator Regina Lau  and former Assistant D.A. Brandon Burkart also assisted in the investigation and prosecution.

District Attorney Bragg thanked Detective Joseph Metsopulos from the NYPD’s Major Case Squad for his exemplary assistance with the investigation.


Defendant Information


Antwerp, Belgium


  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count


  • 3-9 years in state prison