Paul Alfonso, who was unaware of the fraud charges against Modi, bought the rings to propose to his girlfriend. However, one of the happiest moments of his life soon turned into a complete nightmare when the couple found out that the diamonds were fake.
The criminal and absconding Nirav Modi allegedly sold two fake diamond rings to a Canadian national for $200,000, costing him his relationship and pushing him into depression.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the man, Paul Alfonso, who was unaware of the fraud charges against Modi, bought the rings to propose to his girlfriend. However, one of the happiest moments of his life soon turned into a complete nightmare when the couple found out that the diamonds were fake.
Alfonso first met Modi in 2012 and ran into him again in Malibu, California, a few months later. He told the daily that Modi gave him a pep talk and was “kind of an older brother figure.”
In April this year, Alfonso wrote an email to Modi, requesting for a “special” engagement ring, at a budget of $100,000, to propose to his girlfriend.
Modi offered the eloping couple a 3.2-carat round brilliant diamond cut, D colour, VVS1 – a high-quality grade and colourless stone at $120,000.
After receiving an approval for the design from Alfonso, Modi responded with a note saying, “Thank you for thinking of me when you’re making one of the most meaningful purchases in any man’s life.”
Alfonso ended up buying another 2.5-carat oval diamond for $80,000 after his girlfriend expressed interest in another design. He received both rings in June.
However, it was in August, when Alfonso’s fiance took the rings to an appraiser, that the scam came to the forefront.
“When she told me, I was like that’s impossible. I spent $200,000 on those rings. There’s no way they are fake. It’s Nirav we are talking about’,” Alfonso said.
Alfonso said that he was unaware that Modi was wanted for multi-crore fraud at India’s Punjab National Bank.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when his girlfriend left him a few days after.
"We broke up literally after one or two days … It was just too much for both of us to handle. It does not make sense to her, because she says: ‘You are a pretty smart guy, how did you let someone scam you out of $200,000 without making sure the transaction was legitimate?’” Alfonso said.
Alfonso has now filed an unlimited civil lawsuit against Modi, suing him for $4.2 million dollars.>