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Press Release

Jewelry store owner ordered to prison for cash advance fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 40-year-old Katy man has been sent to federal prison following his conviction of committing wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Santiago Mora pleaded guilty March 3.

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen imposed a 27-month-term of imprisonment to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

Mora was co-owner with his business partner of Alku Modern Jewelers located in Katy.

During sentencing, the judge heard that Mora failed to deliver pre-paid Rolex watches valued at approximately $3.9 million to a customer. In an effort to pay the customer and others, Mora executed a scheme by which he obtained a total $500,000 in merchant cash advances via wire transfer by impersonating and using the good credit of his business partner.  

Mora eventually admitted his fraudulent dealings to his business partner and to using his partner’s identity to apply for and receive multiple merchant cash advances.

Mora was taken into custody in Miami, Florida, in June 2021 after he failed to appear in court for further proceedings.

Mora will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tina Ansari and Grace Murphy prosecuted the case.

Updated September 9, 2022

Financial Fraud