Miami--Four individuals have been charged with mail and wire fraud in a scam that law enforcement officials say was orchestrated in a federal prison and involved well-known luxury brands including Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Audemars Piguet.

According to the indictment in the case, James Sabatino, 39, and Jorge Duquen, 53, of Davie, Fla. were serving time together at the Federal Detention Center in Miami when the following plot was perpetrated.

Sabatino, a man reported to have as many as five aliases, allegedly posed as an executive with Sony Music Entertainment and Roc Nation, the label founded by rapper Jay Z.

Using fake email addresses and the alias “James Prolima,” he requested jewelry, watches, handbags and clothes from store employees and brand representatives whom he reached from prison via phone and email.

He claimed that the items were going to be used in music videos being shot in Miami and would be returned. According to court papers, Sabatino even signed letters of responsibility for them.

The ruse went on for about nine months, from October 2014 to July 2015, and involved requests made to Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Audemars Piguet, among other brands, for bracelets, watches and eyewear.

According to the indictment, Sabatino instructed the employees and representatives to ship the goods to two women on the outside, 53-year-old Valerie Hunt of Davie and Denise Siksha Lewis, 35, of North Lauderdale, as well as “other co-conspirators who were not incarcerated.”

Once Hunt and Lewis received the merchandise, Sabatino and Duquen directed them to sell it at pawn shops. The pair allegedly then deposited a portion of the proceeds from the sales into Sabatino and Duquen’s commissary accounts at the prison.

If convicted, all four face a maximum of 20 years behind bars on each count.

They also would be forced to forfeit any money they made from the sale of the goods as well as the merchandise itself, including two Audemars Piguet watches and 11 bracelets and watches from Tiffany, according to court papers.

This not the first time Sabatino, a New York native who has spent a fair share of his adult life in prison, has been accused of perpetrating a scheme that involved posing as an entertainment industry executive.

According to the Miami Herald, Sabatino is a “legendary Miami fraud artist” who is serving time for probation violations and running up huge tabs at posh Miami resorts while pretending to be an entertainment mogul. Another time, he used a similar ruse in order to obtain hundreds of free tickets to the Super Bowl, the Herald said.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.