Battle over giant emerald returns to LA court
By John Rogers, Associated Press Writer
Updated: 11/09/2010 12:50:41 PM PST
A California man who claims he owns a $400-million giant emerald is sticking to his story in court.
Anthony Thomas of Morgan Hill testified Tuesday before a Los Angeles judge who must determine ownership of the Bahia Emerald.
Thomas claims he bought the 840-pound gem for $60,000 soon after it was dug up in the jungles of Brazil in 2001.
Thomas claims his former business partners stole it before it was shipped to his house and his bill of sale was destroyed in a fire.
But lawyers for people with a competing claim argue that Thomas was just a tourist who had himself photographed with the giant gem.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is keeping the emerald until its ownership is decided.
This 2008 file photo provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows the so-called Bahia Emerald. The curious case of an enormous emerald is destined for a Los Angeles courtroom Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 when a judge will try to determine precisely who owns it. Dug up in Brazil in 2001 and tipping the scales at 840 pounds, the boulder-sized Bahia Emerald is one of the largest gems ever discovered. (AP Photo/Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, File)
I feel it's my duty to liberate The Precious from the dishonest swindlers and bandits fighting for control of her. Call it thievery for justice. Rob from the rich and give to the poor*... more or less.
I also need a wheelman... or wheelwoman; this is an equal opportunity illegal venture. I can't promise that you'll make it out alive, but I can promise that if you die I'll enjoy your share in your stead, so it won't go to waste.
Oh, and when the guy disabling the alarm at the Sheriff's Department impound finishes his job, go ahead and kill him so there's more of a cut for us.
* = Me.