A Spanish judge could decide whether a wealthy American tourist is accused of filing a false report into the theft of his watch – which cops say is worth a fraction of the $800,000 – more he told them, a said a police spokeswoman on Wednesday.
“We simply recorded this man’s statement and filed a report in custody court and did nothing else, such as accusing him of making a false statement,” the door-keeper said. word of the Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia. said.
“And so, it would be up to an investigating judge to determine whether further steps should be taken in this direction.”
Former charter jet operator Seth Bernstein told cops the watch ripped from his wrist during a dramatic flight filmed in Barcelona was worth 800,000 euros, or about $830,000, the spokeswoman said.
Bernstein, 46, of Longwood, Fla., denied providing police with false information.
His claim led Spanish media to report that the June 8 incident in the city’s Gothic Quarter, a popular tourist destination, marked the most lucrative watch heist in Barcelona’s history.
No arrests were made.
But after receiving the watch’s serial number, Swiss watchmaker Hublot told investigators the watch was “actually worth 43,000 euros” or about $44,700, the police spokeswoman said.
“The reality is that there is information in this gentleman’s statement about the value of the watch that is out of step with reality,” she added.
The police spokesperson could not confirm which Bernstein watch model was stolen, but said Hublot told cops it was No. 3 of a limited run of five.
Emails requesting comment from Hublot were not immediately returned.
But an employee at Hublot’s Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan told the Post, “It’s possible someone has a Hublot watch worth $800,000.”
“In New York, we would sell at least one, maybe two watches worth $800,000 every year,” said sales associate Leo Wang.
Wang said “Hublot’s men’s watches start at around $8,000 but go up into the millions,” adding, “I think you’ll find Beyoncé bought a $5 million watch for Jay- Z.”
This expensive purchase was reportedly made in 2012 and involved a white gold Hublot encrusted with 1,282 diamonds.
Cops are confident Bernstein’s robbery was not staged, with the police spokeswoman saying: “As far as we are concerned, we are dealing with a violent assault and we are still looking for the person(s) responsible. .”
A police source also said: “A court’s decision to charge the victim of the robbery may depend on whether he is asked to ratify his statement to the police and repeat his assertion that the watch was worth 800,000 euros.”
“What this gentleman tells his insurance company, if he makes an insurance claim using his police statement, is a matter between him and his insurers,” the source added.
In text messages to the Post on Tuesday, Bernstein accused Spanish authorities of lying about the value of his stolen goods, saying they were “embarrassed” by the shameless scam in Barcelona, which he described as “infested of thieves”.
But Bernstein – who was with his family in Italy at the time, intending to travel to Sweden – declined to provide details about the watch or the dispute over its value, saying only that “insurance will cover it. “.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest development.
Inquiries with the Spanish judicial system were also not immediately returned.