Rare diamond seized from money launderer set for online auction
This flawless diamond, known as the "Golden Eye," is up for a minimum bid of $900,000.
August 11th, 2011
08:50 PM ET

Rare diamond seized from money launderer set for online auction

A rare 43-carat yellow diamond that belonged to a convicted money launderer will be auctioned for a minimum bid of $900,000, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.

The flawless diamond, known as the "Golden Eye," will be sold in an online auction on September 6 by the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Department of Justice said in a statement Thursday. The FBI seized the notable diamond in an undercover investigation that led to Ohio businessman Paul Monea's conviction for money laundering.

Known for his involvement in the Tae Bo workout craze and a failed effort to market electric grill lighters as pain relievers, Monea was convicted in 2007 of conspiring to sell the diamond and a mansion once owned by former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson in exchange for $19.5 million and a boat, according to court documents.

There is no clear evidence of how Monea came to possess the diamond, according to court documents. He allegedly told others involved in the case that he owned a diamond mine in Africa and that he received the diamond from a friend.

The diamond was forfeited to the government by a district court judge in 2007, the Department of Justice said. Legal claims delayed the process until March, when the final forfeiture was ordered and the U.S. Marshals Service acquired it.

The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for selling seized and forfeited properties acquired by federal criminals through illegal activities, the DOJ said. Proceeds from the auction are used to compensate victims, pay for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs, according to the Department of Justice.

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Filed under: Crime
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Angie

    It's only worth what you're willing to pay for it. It's meaningless. HUMANS created money and value. So sad. Maybe I just miss George Carlin.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve


      August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Caveman Millionaire

    Oooh ooh me like shiny rock.. Me buy. Me give 900,000 smaller shiny rocks for big yellow shiny rock.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Caveman Millionaire

    Me buy 7 sports wheels.. more fun.. Can't drive shiny rock around cave village or pick up cave girl in shiny rock.. Me no like shiny rock no more.. Want Aston Martin wheel.. or ZR1 wheel..

    August 11, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Caveman Millionaire


    August 12, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Simon

    maybe we can use it to pay off some of our debt LOOOOOOOOOOOOL

    August 12, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. raven

    Ravens love love LOVE shiny things.. diamonds also my birthstone.. sigh.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    I read one estimated valuation of twenty million dollars. It'll bring whatever somebody is willing to pay.
    Twenty million won't do much for our national debt.
    In dreams, I'd rather own the Orlov or the Koh-i-Noor, maybe even more than the Cullinan I. Legend is part of the attraction of gems. There's a bigger diamond than the Cullinan I, but it's some kind of brown.
    If a diamond has color, yellow is the most common, the color of the Golden Eye, which is pretty big at 43 ct. and Flawless. Even if they sell it with GIA papers, I'd loop it myself before buying it.
    One can make a diamond pink by slipping a dab of fingernail polish onto a white one, and it has been done. Caveat emptor with diamonds in ANY store, and that especially includes the most famous.
    I think it would be foolish to opt for a car, especially for the purpose of making dates.
    A guy who's got the Koh-i-Noor diamond in his pocket will never be lonely.
    I've loved gems since I was a kid: I got the G.G. as a hobby. I work in another field.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. nocomprendo

    I don't get this report....
    1. The guy is a criminal
    2. The guy had a rare diamond, whose "real" owner we do not know
    4. The gumment decides it will take whatever he had....for...what?

    So you lose all rights, and gumment can just decide to take over whatever you own? Rough

    August 12, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • maxfig

      Yeah, this story has one gaping hole: Who was it stolen from? Surely they know that at least, and if they don't, how the hell do they know it is stolen at all?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    raven is lucky to have diamond as her birthstone (April).
    Mine is zircon: I hate them a little, although my mother had a nice blue one that she wore on a chain.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    Gumment big, strong.
    Darwin 101-103.
    Gumment, after all, is in the world, to paraphrase Henry James.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. kraken

    yellow diamonds ist crappy

    August 12, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    I like red ones (natural color origin).

    August 12, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    I wish that the British gumment had cut the Cullinan diamond as a single stone. (Stone-on-a-stick.) I've held a glass copy of the Cullinan rough in my hand: unbelievably big.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. ferow

    yellow diamonds are the LEAST desirable of all diamonds, thats why you get so much for such a cheap price.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. steve

    I'll trade my websites http://scrabblecheat.com for it.
    Other than I am broke. Smithsonian will buy it.
    Oh wait they are broke to.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
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