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. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    You give to the Smithsonian for a tax break.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • pistro123

      Yeah, like that will happen

      August 12, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. S/African

    The Cullinan Diamond also known as the Great Star 3106.75 carats was founded in South Africa in1905
    in diamond mine in SA....That is the largest so far......

    August 12, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    @ ferow:
    Black diamonds were once worth very little; now there is some market.
    I despise brownish diamonds, no matter how you describe the color. It's really just a lot of yellow.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MIRTED

      "Despise" an inanimate object? Really?

      August 12, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    A few years ago there was a black diamond, c. 10 cts, at an auction house, I think it was Sotheby's, that I could have picked up for not much. It was set in silver. It would have been a hoot to wear, but I didn't bid.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Silver Wraith, G.G.

    I'm only here because I cannot sleep. I have a fun day tomorrow. If I disappear, I'll have decided to take a pill, but I hate doing that.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marichuy

    Christal gold

    August 12, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. sapiens?

    brighten up shovel:

    August 12, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. lemmeeatyourstankpussgirrrrl

    that's a rock

    August 12, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. TheHalfBakedLunatic

    Ok, so how do I bid on it?

    August 12, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeremy

    YES! Just what I need to finish my death ray!

    August 12, 2011 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Steven

    @raven hey babe,when I come out of the shower I'm shiny. Does that mean you love love me?

    August 12, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Twan

    I guess I'll get my money together...

    August 12, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Josh

    Doesn't the US Marshal Service need to determine the diamond's true owner?

    They would need to be able to prove that Paul Monea obtained the diamond legally, or else it needs to be returned back to it rightful owner, no?

    August 12, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. littleriverbaker2

    And why is this a debate? If the Feds are auctioning this off why isn't it put toward reducing the national debt. One million is One million less we owe. How about buying food with the collected funds and blowing the hell out of renegades in Somilia, then feeding the starving people those same Renegade SOB's have forcced into death camps for years and years. Something good has to happen soon or I have completely lost my faith in this mankind. DAMN!!!!!

    August 12, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. cureanca

    It sad to see a money launderer had a rare 43-carat yellow diamond thats worth well over $900,000 for personal enjoyment. It takes foundations like ours years to raise those kind of funds. http://www.cureanca.com

    August 12, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
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