A thief who posed as a gem expert to exchange $5.7 million worth of diamonds for stones has been ordered to pay back as little as $340.
Lulu Lakatos, 60, is serving a five-and-a-half-year sentence after she was convicted of conspiracy to rob.
She told Boodles jewellers, in London’s posh Mayfair district, that she had been sent to appraise seven diamonds on behalf of Russian buyers.
This Romanian citizen, who was convicted last July, was caught on security cameras while doing a sleight of hand with which he managed to exchange a padlocked bag that contained genuine diamonds for a duplicate.
It all happened in March 2016.
According to research, after placing the false briefcase, he left the store.
That is when he gave the gems to an unknown woman linked to an international criminal gang, who fled from the UK to France in three hours.
The bag containing the stones was placed in Boodles’ safe and the ruse it was not detected until the next day.
the real diamonds they never recovered.
Now a judge has sentenced Lakatos to pay a fine that allegedly amounts to his entire capital.
At trial it was said that the only asset the thief owned was 245 pounds ($340) in cash that were found on her when she was arrested.
Judge Alexander Milne QC noted the “striking contrast” between the value of the stolen diamonds and Lakatos’ available assets.
Since the money had already been seized, he set a one-day default sentence and gave her a month to pay off the debt.
Romanian-born Lakatos is expected to be extradited to Francewhere he resided.
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