Two diamonds that were stolen in an elaborate scheme - in which a con artist repeatedly posed as a representative for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel - were recently recovered in Miami, according to court records released Monday.
James Sabatino conned jewelers and luxury brands out of $10 million worth of goods. But here's the thing: the entire time, the 46-year-old was running his operation while behind bars at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, where he's being held pending trial for other charges.
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In 2017, Sabatino, fooled diamond company Forevermark under the guise that he was a Universal Music executive putting together a music video featuring Timberlake and Biel in Miami Beach.
Days after the encounter, Forevermark realized it fell victim to Sabatino's web of lies and filed a report with Miami Beach police. Two of the jewels, an 8.55-carat diamond worth $580,000 and a 7.29-carat oval cut diamond worth $326,000, were located in June.
The diamonds fell in the hands of the Gemological Institute of America, which evaluates the quality of gems. The institute notified the FBI of the discovery, and they were matched to the stolen jewels from the sham music video.
From 2014 to 2017, Sabatino used smuggled cellphones sold by prison guards to impersonate executives with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Roc Nation. Through fake email accounts that appeared legitimate, he convinced several brands, including Tiffany & Co., to mail jewelry and luxury goods for music videos.
Due to the fact that Sabatino was in federal custody, co-conspirators would sign for the items, collect them and try to turn a profit.
Sabatino, who pleaded guilty to the fraud in 2017, is serving a 20-year sentence at ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado that houses the likes of Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin El Chapo and Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.