Cinco Ranch, TEXAS – The owner of Alku Jewelers in Katy, Santiago Mora, is accused of stealing millions of dollars from customers and other jewelry dealers.
Mora was arrested in Miami on federal charges and is now awaiting extradition back to Texas.
“A lot of people thought he was a good person and that he was doing them favors by cutting them breaks, but he was actually taking their money and running,” said Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Taylor Rollins.
His storefront in LaCenterra Cinco Ranch is no longer there. His website is now down too, but the business Instagram page is still up and running.
Authority said Mora milked jewelry dealers out of millions of dollars after selling them high-end watches and never delivering them.
One man’s family told KPRC 2 he put down $8,000 on an engagement ring and never heard back. Another man said he put down $50,000 and also got the runaround.
“People are coming in wanting to buy high-end jewelry and he tells them, ‘Hey, we don’t have it here right now, but if you give me cash today I can order it and I can take 30% off.’ And then he takes their money,” said Rollins.
Mora was picked up in Miami Beach last week on federal charges, and he’s now facing fraud and theft charges in Fort Bend County. Sheriff Eric Fagan said customers should do their research on anyone they do business with.
“If they can’t give you references of people you can talk to, that might be a sign to find someone else,” said Fagan.
Investigators believe there may be more victims tied to Mora. Anyone who has had dealings with him is urged to call the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office at (281) 341-4665