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Authorities recover stolen diamonds loaned out for fake Justin Timberlake music video

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, JIMMY FALLON
ABC/Randy Holmes

Police recovered two diamonds that had been stolen by a man posing as an executive working for Justin Timberlake, reports the Miami Herald.

Con artist James Sabatino reportedly duped jeweler Forevermark in 2017. He reportedly passed himself off as a Universal Music executive and claimed he needed jewelry for a music video featuring Justin and his wife, Jessica Biel, which would be filmed in Miami Beach.

Forevermark fell for the ruse and loaned out nine pieces, including an 8.55-carat diamond that was worth $580,000 and a 7.29-carat oval cut diamond, valued at $326,000. They filed a report with Miami police days later.

The diamonds’ whereabouts remained unknown until they were acquired by the Gemological Institute of America in June. The institute works to verify gem quality and suspected they were stolen by Sabatino.

The organization notified the FBI, and they confirmed they were a match. 

As for the 46-year-old Sabatino, he was already behind bars when he first contacted Forevermark. 

Between 2014 and 2017, the con artist carried out his scheme behind bars and bilked roughly $10 million in goods from other luxury brands by impersonating music executives and requesting items for music videos. 

He reportedly used smuggled cell phones to communicate with the brands via email, where he’d direct his victims to send their goods to locations such as luxury hotels. A colleague of his would then sign for the delivery and try to sell the objects for a profit.

Sabatino was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison for fraud in 2017.

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