What's It Worth? Does Crime Pay

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No, it doesn’t. In the beginning, Scott Rothstein of Fort Lauderdale thought he was getting away with murder. His Ponzi scheme was the third-largest in U.S. history.

When the federal courts needed to liquidate close to $10 million in expensive jewels, diamonds and watches, they chose us. Barely worn, extraordinary items were to be liquidated for the benefit of those who were ripped off.

Valuation was tricky, since the IRS defines valuation in so many different ways — retail, wholesale, insurance replacement, fair market and liquidation values. In this case, some items brought close to what the scammer paid for them; but most brought 10 to 40 cents on the retail dollar or what is called the liquidation value.

In this case, the consignor was the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Because all of these items were purchased with ill-gotten gains, the perpetrator was not allowed to keep them.

When the crime was discovered, Rothstein went to jail – and the first round of his and his wife’s jewelry sold at auction five years ago. When a second group of jewelry was uncovered, the attorneys for the government trusted us to liquidate the items for them. We placed a few high-value pieces with private collectors for $100,000 to $300,000 each. The rest was sold on our renowned online auction site with an incredibly low liquidation start bid and no reserve.

Pictured here is a small portion of the cache of spectacular jewelry we had — from Harry Winston, Rolex and Piaget to a large fancy yellow 12.5 carat diamond.

When selling expensive jewelry and diamonds, why not trust the experts that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court trusted Jeff and Katrina Hess.

If you have fine watches or jewelry to sell, contact us. If you need an appointment in St. Petersburg or Tampa, give us a call or email JeffreyPHess@aol.com. We are former sothebys.com associates.

Always buying diamonds, fine wristwatches, pocket watches and expensive jewelry. Gold is high; sell NOW!

Mail in your items (we can send you an envelope/package to send in your goods), we will call you for a consultation when we receive your package. We can deposit money into your account.

House calls? Yes — we can meet you at our store, your home, or your attorney’s office.

No estate too small or too large.

JEFF HESS, Owner & Appraiser.
Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.
St. Petersburg 1131 4th St. N, St. Petersburg FL 33701. 727.898.4377.
Tampa International Plaza, 813.875.3935.
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Old Northeast Jewelers, Fine Jewelry and Watches, Buying and Selling since 1984.


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