Jack Hasson, the jeweler who scammed his rich and famous customers out of millions, was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday and ordered to pay more than $78 million in restitution. In February, Hasson was convicted of fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice for selling fake, flawed and altered jewelry to customers including golfers Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.
According to the Associated Press, during the trial Norman testified he paid Hasson to make a diamond pin shaped like his shark logo. Norman later learned the pin, which he gave to his wife, Laura, had been irradiated to bring out the color in its blue, orange, green, black and pink diamonds. The pin was worth only $7,000, not the $48,875 he paid. Former Detroit television station owner Aben Johnson was also deceived by Hasson and lost most of the $83 million he spent on Hasson's fake gems.
Hasson must serve at least 85% of his sentence, meaning he will be imprisoned until he is at least 81. Codefendants Scott Colton, an attorney who laundered $26 million for Hasson, and Jimmy Speiser, Hasson's store manager, pleaded guilty to fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. They still await sentencing.
- by Julia M. Duncan