A criminal complaint filed by a federal agent said that a Florida psychic's 90 million jewelry theftcould be traced back to a man who said he was a psychic and convinced his victim to send him 17 valuable gems and watches by telling them he would cleanse their spirits.
Court Watch was the first to report on the high-stakes theft, which involved a 13.15-carat pink diamondthat was going to be sold at an auction on December 6. The auction house thought that the "Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond Ring" could sell for as much as $35 million.
Rapaport, a jewelrytrade magazine, says that the gem was pulled from the auction without any explanation on Thanksgiving Day.
A Christie's representative told Insider:
We can confirm that we cooperated with the authorities, but Christie's does not comment on ongoing investigations to which we are not a party.- Christie's representative
Behind the scenes, a plan had already been made that could have been in a hit-heist movie. A criminal complaint filed on November 21 said that the jewelry theft happened between June and August 2022, after an employee of a wealthy Doha, Qatar, resident went to a psychic about four years ago.
In the complaint, the employee is called "Victim 1," and he or she eventually met someone online around April 2019 whose username was "1111Giovanni1111." The worker thought the person was "psychic and a lovespecialist," a court document says.
Later, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to link the username to a man named John Lee who had a driver's license from Florida.
Over the next few years, the victim paid Lee many times to do things for him. Around June 2022, Lee told an employee to send him some personal jewelry to his Florida address "to be cleansed." This made the working relationship stronger.
"Victim 1 sent the jewelry to him in the hope that he could cleanse the jewelry of bad spirits," the court record said. Lee sent the jewelry back after he did the "spiritual actions" he had promised to do.
But the worker reported that even after the cleanse, she still had "negative feelings," according to the agent's writing. As a result, Lee was successful in convincing his client to ship even more jewelry.
This time, the stolen item was jewelry belonging to the employee's boss, who was a wealthy man living in Doha, Qatar.
The employee stole jewelry from the safe that belonged to her boss and mailed it to addresses in the state of Florida and the state of New Jersey. According to the complaint, Lee informed his customer that the jewelry would not be returned until August of the year 2022.
But a few days before the return date, Lee told the client that customs would keep the jewelry if it was sent back. The self-proclaimed psychic then told his client to meet him in Cannes, France, to pick up the items in person, but the psychic never showed up, according to court documents.
The worker tried many times to get in touch with Lee. On August 23, 2022, Lee said:
Please stop I do not know what you were talking about I don't think you need a psychic you need a psychiatrist God bless you please stop harassing me.- John Lee
At least 17 things went missing from the boss's safe, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and watches. The complaint said that all of the jewelry together was worth more than $90 million. He then sold the jewelry for a small amount of what it was worth.
A pink emerald-cut diamond was one of the things that federal agents said Lee bought. In the criminal complaint, the feds said that he sold the $31 million diamond to a watch broker for just $8 million worth of watches and loose diamonds.
In a press release from November 14, Christie's said that a "private collector" had asked them to sell the pink diamond.
The criminal complaint said that an unnamed witness recognized the description of the item and knew who owned it. This made it possible for agents to take possession of the gem before it went up for auction.
Lee was taken into custody on November 22 in New Jersey. He was charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and transporting stolen goods across state lines.