New York--A. Jaffe, one of the U.S. companies ultimately owned by the Indian diamantaire wanted in connection with a $2 billion bank fraud, is going back on the block.

Court papers filed June 25 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York show that Richard Levin, the Chapter 11 trustee for A. Jaffe, which filed bankruptcy earlier this year, is looking to sell “all or substantially all” of the company’s assets.

The deadline for bids, as outlined in court documents, is July 5 at 5 p.m. If more than one company bids for A. Jaffe’s assets, then an auction will take place July 11 at the office of Jenner & Block LLP on Third Avenue in New York.

Judge Sean H. Lane will still need to approve the sale before it is final; Levin told National Jeweler Thursday the judge set the sale approval hearing for July 25.

Lane was the one who halted the sale last time, saying he needed more information before he could approve selling A. Jaffe to Parag Diamonds (d/b/a Paramount Gems) for $8 million. The sale motion was then withdrawn by A. Jaffe’s attorney at that time, Ian Winters. It was withdrawn without prejudice, leaving the door open for potential refiling.

Court documents show this second go-around of the sale of the diamond jewelry company will be open to any bidders who became qualified bidders for the first sale, as well as other bidders that want to submit “evidence of financial capability” to the trustee.

Nirav Modi, a billionaire diamantaire from India who was opening stores worldwide and becoming a red carpet mainstay, was accused earlier this year of cheating state-owned Punjab National Bank out of nearly $2 billion, charges he has denied.

Among his holdings were three U.S.-based companies: A. Jaffe, Firestar Diamond Inc. and Fantasy Diamond Inc. All three companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.
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Modi reportedly left India a few weeks before a complaint was filed against him in January, and Indian authorities have been on the hunt for him ever since.

The fates of the other Modi-connected U.S. companies, Firestar Diamond and Fantasy, remain unclear.

When asked Thursday if the two companies would be sold and, if so, what the timeline was, Levin said there are no firm plans yet for either company.


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