Sunday, August 23, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: The Alex+Ani Show

"Alex+Ani executive admits taking jet skis, will pay costs" by Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff  August 15, 2015

A marketing executive for jewelry-maker Alex+Ani who was recently arrested after a night of carousing in a Jamestown, R.I., home that was not his own, admitted in court Friday to stealing two jet skis that later crashed.

Ryan Bonifacino, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of digital operations at the company, appeared in Newport District Court on Friday charged with misappropriation of the personal watercraft and was ordered by a judge to pay $500 to a crime victim indemnity fund, according to court spokesman Craig Berke.

Bonifacino had initially been charged by police with breaking and entering an East Shore Road home in Jamestown on Sunday, Aug. 2, where he partied until early morning, before he and three others allegedly took two jet skis from a neighbor’s house and drove them across the harbor to nearby Newport.

According to the police report, when the four did not return, a friend at the house called the Coast Guard, which alerted Jamestown police. At some point after that, Bonifacino and the three others returned to the house, all riding one jet ski, two of them seriously injured. Jamestown police were there waiting, according to the report.

Officers said they were told that the missing jet ski had crashed on a rock and was abandoned. The injured riders were taken to Newport Hospital. They were not identified in the police report, and information on their conditions was not available.

The breaking and entering charge appeared to have been dropped by the time of Bonifacino’s Friday court appearance. Court officials said they had no knowledge of the charge and referred all questions to the Jamestown police, who did not respond to requests for more information.

Bonifacino’s lawyer, John Grasso, said his client did not break into the house, but would not disclose the owner’s name or relationship to Bonifacino.

“At the first opportunity, he admitted responsibility that he used the jet skis without permission and agreed to make good for all the damage he has caused,” Grasso said. “It was the right thing to do.”

Grasso said a jet ski valued at $12,000 was totaled. The other was also damaged but it was unclear how much it would cost to fix.

Court officials said if Bonifacino, 31, stays out of trouble for a year, the misappropriation charge will be expunged.

Because the case has been resolved, Cranston-based Alex+Ani will not pursue any action, a spokeswoman said.

Bonifacino lives in New York and has worked for the company since 2010, helping to market its spiritually themed jewelry and accessories, according to his LinkedIn profile.



"Alex and Ani hurt by executive exits, party incident" by Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff  August 28, 2015 


In March, Michael Mota, a former executive at Alex and Ani’s media and advertising subsidiary, Seven Swords, filed a lawsuit against founder and chief executive Carolyn Rafaelian, alleging he was promised stock options he never received when the unit was abruptly shut down.

Mota said Rafaelian had directed Seven Swords employees to disregard or destroy invoices for work they had performed on behalf on Rafaelian’s other personal ventures, including her winery and chain of tea and coffee shops, as well as Belcourt castle, in an attempt to avoid state and federal taxes.

Mota’s lawsuit also listed a litany of complaints, including that he and other employees were forced to meet monthly with a company psychic, a “self-proclaimed Master Intuitive” named Jocelyn Coleman, who would report back to Rafaelian about their private lives. He said Rafaelian put on the company’s board an astrologer who picked the dates and times of store openings, slowing down the operation.

You better be mindful of the boss.

“This created a ‘cultlike’ environment, and it was known across the company that you were never to question or make comments about these practices or you would be terminated,” the lawsuit said.

That hits the spot! Follow the herd. It's pure fa$ci$m!

Mota did not respond to requests for comment through his attorney, but his description of the company’s culture was confirmed by two former employees who did not want to be identified.

Alex and Ani responded by filing a lawsuit against Mota, claiming defamation, according to Mota’s lawyer. A spokeswoman for Alex and Ani said Mota was terminated during a restructuring of Seven Swords for reasons that included his “inappropriate and unprofessional management style.”

Yet more unwanted publicity came earlier this month when the company’s chief marketing officer was arrested after a night of partying in Jamestown. Ryan Bonifacino, 31, was partying at at a waterfront estate not far from Rafaelian’s at 266 East Shore Road. The Jamestown Police Department would not disclose the exact location of Bonifacino’s arrest. But the former hedge fund adviser and his friends took two jet skis, registered to one of Rafaelian’s neighbors, for a joyride to Newport in the hours before dawn on Aug. 3.

At some point, one of the jet skis crashed on a rock, and two riders were seriously injured. Police later arrested Bonifacino.

Bonifacino was ordered to pay for the damaged watercraft as well as $500 to the court’s victim compensation fund. He has not responded to requests for an interview.

In March, Rafaelian hired Harlan Kent, the former chief executive at Yankee Candle, as the company’s new president. 


Although no one can say what the future holds, under her creative control the company created a new line of products, and this summer the featured bangle bore a conch shell charm.

And like all the Alex and Ani bracelets, it is infused with meaning. This one is marketed to symbolize “Power. Authority. Sovereignty.”

What elitist $cum!!