KATY, Texas — The Katy jeweler on the run after allegedly cheating customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in diamonds and watches has been arrested.
FBI agents in Miami arrested ALKU Jewelry owner Santiago Mora on unrelated federal charges, according to the Houston FBI office.
Court documents say Mora owed almost $4 million to a business for watches he never delivered.
Editor's note: The video above originally aired on May 6.
FBCSO said Detective Jesse Murphy was the lead investigator who received numerous tips in collaboration with Fort Bend Crime Stoppers, which helped lead to Mora’s capture.
“I applaud the excellent police work of Detective Murphy and the FBI,” said Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan. “The result of this investigation reminds us that we’ve got work to do.”
Not only has Mora been indicted for federal crimes related to the allegedly fraudulent scheme to sell Rolex watches, but he's also accused of theft and fraud-related crimes in Fort Bend County.
In May, we told you the story of John Holden, who said he paid cash upfront at the jewelry store for an engagement ring that was supposed to be ready two weeks later.
“After that, they kind of ghosted me. Quit answering texts," Holden said. "It was one thing after another.”
Holden never got the ring, spoiling his plan to propose to his girlfriend. When he went back to the store, an eviction notice was on the front door.
After our report aired, more victims came forward claiming they were swindled by Mora.
Watch collector Nick Taijan said he paid Mora $26,300 last October for two rare watches he never got.
"Rolex Daytona white dial and black dial," Tajain said. "They’re very hard watches to get.”
When KHOU 11 reporter Matt Daugherty contacted Tajain in May, he told him to call his attorney. The attorney claimed his client was dealing with a missing teenage daughter and health issues.
On Monday, Daugherty texted Mora to ask if he was on the run and he responded, “No, sir I’m not… just finalizing finances… to take care of those issues… almost there.”
Holden said he posted his experience to Nextdoor and learned he's not alone. A quick scroll through the jewelry business’s Google reviews appears to show there are other customers in the same situation.
“Be very suspicious of someone who’s going to give you an extremely big discount for a cash price,” Holden said.
If you were scammed by Mora, call Detective Murphy of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office at 281-341-3815.
Experts warn against paying cash upfront and advises customers to do their homework. Mora's jewelry store has an "F" rating, according to Better Business Bureau of Houston Vice President of Operations Leah Napoliello.
A quick Google search also turned up a lot of negative reviews.