- Drew Brees is embroiled in a $US9 million lawsuit with a jeweller named Vahid Moradi, arguing that an independent appraiser suggested he was significantly overcharged for diamond purchases.
- The lawsuit claims Brees and his wife paid $US15 million for investment-grade diamonds that the independent appraiser valued at only $US6 million.
- A court filing submitted by Moradi claims the New Orleans Saints quarterback said he was “cash poor” before bringing the lawsuit – something Brees denies.
Drew Brees and his wife are embroiled in a $US9 million lawsuit against a jeweller they say dramatically overcharged them for diamonds.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback sued Vahid Moradi of CJ Charles Jewellers and Vahid Moradi Inc. in April, claiming that Moradi recommended and sold the Breeses $US15 million in investment-grade diamonds from 2012 to 2016 that the couple learned last year were worth only about $US6 million, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported this week, citing the lawsuit. They’re seeking the $US9 million appraisal value difference in damages.
A court record filed in May by Moradi reportedly attributes the lawsuit to what he describes as buyer’s remorse and a need for quick cash by the couple. Moradi reportedly said the Saints quarterback had told him he was “cash poor” shortly before the accusations were made, but Brees disputed these allegations.
“My wife and my family and I are very comfortable and our (financial) situation is quite good,” Brees told The Union-Tribune. Brees signed a two-year, $US50 million deal with the Saints earlier this year, about half of it guaranteed.
The Washington Post reported in April that Brees and Moradi had maintained a good relationship before the couple hired an independent appraiser on advice from their financial adviser. Brees then apparently confronted Moradi.
The lawsuit claims that during that conversation, Moradi admitted to selling the diamonds at a”substantial markup” but said the market was “weak as it has ever been,” The Post said. According to The New Orleans Advocate, the lawsuit says he had been urging Brees to buy investment diamonds since the 2008 recession, saying the stones would be recession-proof.
“Moradi insisted unabashedly that he had done nothing wrong because he charged plaintiffs the price at which Moradi expected the jewellery could be resold in 10 to 15 years because Moradi knew [the Breeses] wanted a ‘long-term investment,'” the lawsuit said, according to The Advocate.
Moradi’s filing also accuses Brees of threatening to ruin Moradi’s reputation with a lawsuit unless he agreed to pay Brees $US1 million a year for seven years, The Union-Tribune said.
According to The Union-Tribune, Moradi’s court filing says every center-stone diamond Brees purchased was certified by the Gemological Institute of America, which grades diamonds. Moradi reportedly attributed any discrepancy in stone value to errors by the Breeses’ appraiser.
Brees “should restrict his game-playing to the football field,” Moradi’s attorney, Eric George, told TMZ. “And refrain from bullying honest, hard-working businessmen like my client.”