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Citibank Stole $13 Million Dollars Worth of Bling. Twice.

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
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I've been reading Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman, a history of Huguette Clark, the millionairess that died alone in a NYC hospital. In the book there is an account of 2 acts of blatant thievery by Citibank:

In 1994, Huguette had $10 million dollars worth of jewelry in a safe deposit box at Citibank. The box fee was paid for by the Citibank trust department from the pile of Huegette's money that they had (and she paid them huge fees to hold this money). An interoffice mailing address, between the 2 Citibank departments, was changed and the trust department no longer got the bill, so it went unpaid. The result was that the box fee went unpaid and it was SAWED open and the jewelry inside was sold for pennies on the dollar!

The items lost were
Cartier 2 strand pearl necklace with 7-carat diamond clasp
3 strand pearl and jade bead necklace
Two 4 carat Cartier diamonds
Bracelet with 36 sapphires and 126 diamonds
Cartier diamond and rock crystal hairpin with 64 diamonds
3 stone diamond ring
18 carat gold mesh purse with 5 emeralds
Cartier gold watch with 30 carats of diamonds
Cartier bracelet with 22 carats of diamonds
Cartier necklace with 60 carats of diamonds and 40 carats of emeralds

Plus 30 other pieces. :knockout: :nono: ;( :((

All gone. Huguette was afraid of publicity and declined to sue the bank for the 10 million that her jewelry was worth. She offered to take 6 million. But John S Reed, the chairman of Citibank, wrote a note of apology, but said he was willing to pay no more than 3.5 million. Over 90 years old, and alone, she took what they offered.

This was AFTER a blue diamond and other pieces of Huguette's jewelry disappeared from the securities department at Citibank in the 1980's. Citibank paid 3 million, about half what the jewelry was worth at the time.

So, if you ever have to depend on Citibank to do right by you, forget it. They are obviously not the type to do the right thing. :(

And make sure your safe deposit box bills are paid on time.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
4,718
Re: Citibank Stole $13 Million Dollars Worth of Bling. Twice

God, that's incredible. How on earth do they get away with that? I know she was 90 with the second theft, but she was much younger with the first. And even being 90, surely she would have lawyers etc acting on her behalf. I could care less about publicity - I'd reason that I hadn't done anything wrong so they're the ones who should be worried about publicity - and I'd sue their pants off!
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
Re: Citibank Stole $13 Million Dollars Worth of Bling. Twice

Jambalaya said:
God, that's incredible. How on earth do they get away with that? I know she was 90 with the second theft, but she was much younger with the first. And even being 90, surely she would have lawyers etc acting on her behalf. I could care less about publicity - I'd reason that I hadn't done anything wrong so they're the ones who should be worried about publicity - and I'd sue their pants off!

Well, that's the thing: she FEARED publicity. She gave away millions, but insisted on anonymity, always. And Citibank reportedly told her that "publicity may be unavoidable". How did they figure that?!! I would think that the bank would have kept it quiet, considering how bad it made them look, but she was scared off. Her lawyers pushed hard for lawsuits, but she was scared by the Citibank threats.

I always felt that a company learns it's ethics (or lack of) from the top guy, and John S Reed obviously taught everyone to act like weasels. :(

What makes me sad is the list of bling lost. I can't even imagine how beautiful a 60 carat Cartier necklace must have been. :(sad :nono:
 
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