A serial con man pleaded guilty (again) in Miami Federal court yesterday, this time for organising a racket where he would be calling jewelry stores and get them to send their latest earrings and necklaces to him, the store manager assuming he would present them to his clients, famous pop stars and rappers.
Mr Jimmy Sabatino, who’s been a frequent visitor of jail cells all his life, organised for one of the correctional officers to provide him with a phone and then called New York jewelry stores with a fantastic story.
First, posing as a Sony executive, he reached out to luxury shop owners all across the city to convince them to turn over their jewelry, watches and other goods so he could have them displayed in one of Sony’s splashy music videos which would be shown on MTV. In return the jewelry store wold get mentioned and receive free advertising on Twitter. Afterwards the goods would be returned, Sabatino confirmed.
His imagination didn’t stop there. After posing as a Sony executive and getting the stores to send a first batch, he would call back a few weeks later posing this time as a, executive for RocNation, the entertainment firm of rapper Jay Z and tell them that they were needed for Shakira, Rihanna and Big Sean. Of course he knew of the store he said, because he had just met a friend of his over at Sony. The luxury store manager, dumbfounded at his luck of being chosen to be represented in not one but two music videos, didn’t know what to send first.
One New York City jewelry store which wanted to remain anonymous, reported to the FBI a loss of some $700,000 worth of jewelry.
(Before you ask, why anyone would send that amount via post or even FedEx is a mystery to us as well)
The detective who investigated found that parts of the profits were slushed to an associate of the Gambino organized crime family, who helped Sabatino to get the phones (and postal services) arranged from the correctional officers helping him.
The judge who handled the case stated that she couldn’t believe that all this could simply be organised from jail.
Sabatino now faces up to 20 years on the racketeering conspiracy charge (on top of his current sentence) and will likely be imprisoned at the notorious maximum security facility in Florence, Colorado.