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August 7, 2018 – Samuels Jewelers, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware, case number 18-11818. The Company, a jewelry chain with about 130 stores across the United States, operates under the Schubach, Samuels, Rogers, Samuels Fine Jewelry, Andrews and Samuels Diamonds brands. It is represented by Daniel J. DeFranceschi of Richards Layton & Finger. Further board-authorized engagements include Jones Day and Berkeley Research Group. Samuels Jewelers is a subsidiary of Gitanjali Gems Ltd (“Gitanjali”) whose chairman, Mehul Choksi, has been accused by state-run Punjab National Bank in India of defrauding it of nearly $2 billion. Choksi is the uncle of diamond merchant Nirav Modi who has also been accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank. Modi’s company, Firestar Diamond, Inc., filed for bankruptcy in New York in February of this year. Samuels Jeweler’s petition notes between 200 and 1,000 creditors; estimated assets between $100 million and $500 million; and estimated liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. In a list of its 30 largest unsecured creditors filed with the Court, the Company notes trade creditors Exclusive Design Direct Inc, Taipinyang Trading Ltd. and GoGreen Diamonds Inc. as its three largest such creditors, with claims of $9.1 million, $6.1 million and $5.5 million, respectively. This is the fourth time the Company has filed for Chapter 11 protection since 1992, having previously file Chapter 11 petitions in 1992, 1997 and 2003.
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