Wednesday 14 September 2011

Guess Who Bought The Golden Eye Diamond

Guess Who Bought The Golden Eye Diamond

Columbus: A married couple from Trumbull County placed the $2.84 million winning bid for a golden-coloured diamond that once belonged to an Alliance-area businessman.

The 43.5-carat internally flawless gem — confiscated by the FBI from Paul Monea five years ago — was sold in an on-line auction.

Ann Rote, a spokesman for Bid4Assets, which conducted the sale for the U.S. Marshals Service in Cleveland, said she can not disclose the buyer’s name. However, the buyer’s user name on the Internet auction site was traced back to Jerre and Donah Hentosh of Cortland.

Jerre Hentosh told The Repository that he purchased the diamond, and added he’d been prepared to spend as much as $7 million. He said he’d never bought anything online before, but heard about this auction in the national news. He and his wife saw it as an opportunity.

“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with it yet; it’s a speculative purchase,” said the 63-year-old Hentosh. Hentosh, a home builder by trade, said he lived frugally and invested well. He said he has bought and sold diamonds, gold and silver in the past, though nothing of this magnitude. “Very rare; there’s nothing out there like it to compare it to,” Hentosh said.

Bidding for the so-called “Golden Eye” diamond began on Tuesday morning and closed on Thursday afternoon. Hentosh estimated he placed 9 of the 16 bids recorded on the diamond. The gem was forfeited to the federal government when it was deemed a tool in a crime committed by Monea in 2006. Authorities arrested longtime local auto dealer Mickey Miller and Monea.

Miller pleaded guilty to laundering money for drug dealers. He then testified against his friend, Monea, who’d attempted to sell the diamond and boxer Mike Tyson's former house in Trumbull County for $19.5 million to an undercover FBI agent who’d posed as a big-time drug dealer. Monea was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Most of the auction proceeds will stay with the Marshals Service, while a small percentage will be split among agencies that assisted in the investigation of Monea and Miller.