NEW YORK — Jacob Arabov’s next date in court has been moved back two days to Wednesday, when the Jacob & Co. founder is set to be formally arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit, said his attorney, Benjamin Brafman.
Arabov, known as “Jacob the Jeweler,” was arrested June 15 at his Manhattan headquarters on federal money laundering charges and was released on bail. Brafman said Arabov will plead not guilty to participating in an alleged scheme to launder more than $270 million in illegal narcotics proceeds involving a Detroit-based drug organization called the Black Mafia Family.
Arabov, who uses the surname Arabo professionally, was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan on one count of money laundering and was accused of selling jewelry that was purchased by alleged ringleaders Terry Lee Flenory and Demetrius Flenory, and others. If convicted, Arabov faces up to 20 years in prison.
A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Arabov has made a name for himself in the hip-hop and entertainment world with his oversize, diamond-laden watches and jewelry, and has been integral in bringing the term “bling” to everyday vernacular. Arabov has 20 years experience in fine jewelry, from a booth on Manhattan’s 47th Street to the townhouse at 48 East 57th Street purchased in 2004 that houses the company’s headquarters and only store.
Arabov has dressed celebrities from Kanye West and Jay-Z to Jessica Alba and Jessica Simpson. In the last year, he has tried to widen his offerings to include stately diamond jewelry, with an advertising campaign starring Helena Christensen.