David Ortiz awarded more than $300,000 in fake jewelry lawsuit
A Middlesex County judge has ordered a California jeweler and his family’s company to pay slugger David Ortiz more than $300,000 in damages in a lawsuit stemming from low-quality jewelry the man sold the Red Sox star under false pretenses in 2010.
In a four-page ruling Monday, Judge Maynard M. Kirpalani ordered Randy Hamida of Anaheim and Randy’s Mens Wear to pay out $313,800 plus interest and attorney’s fees to Ortiz.
The Sox power hitter had filed suit against Hamida in 2014, alleging that he sold him fake or low-quality diamond and gold jewelry for $127,000, and then failed to refund the money when Ortiz discovered the deception.
Kirpalani agreed, writing that Hamida made “false representations” to Ortiz about the quality of the jewels “in order to induce Ortiz to pay amounts far in excess of their true value.”
The judge also said Hamida’s “failure to deliver jewelry of the kind and value agreed upon was done in bad faith.”
A working telephone number for Hamida could not be located.
Jonathan M. Davidoff, a lawyer for Ortiz, said in an e-mail Tuesday night that Kirpalani’s findings show “the truth of the circumstances that Mr. Ortiz is a victim of Mr. Hamida’s fraud. Hopefully the general public can avoid becoming victims of fraudsters who seek those opportunities to take advantage of others. Unfortunately, way too many times, professional athletes become the targets of fraudsters. Mr. Ortiz is happy that this chapter of the matter is now concluded.”
According to Kirpalani’s ruling, Hamida targets professional athletes for jewelry sales, frequenting locations where they can be found, such as team hotels.
He “pursued encounters” with Ortiz in 2010 and they met at Ortiz’s home that October, when the slugger agreed to buy jewelry that Hamida said was made from precious metals, diamonds, and gems worth more than $127,000, Kirpalani wrote.
Ortiz gave Hamida a check for $80,000, as well as a gold necklace and bracelet to cover the remaining cost, the ruling said. Ortiz received all the jewelry he purchased from Hamida by spring 2011.
But later that year, the man known as Big Papi discovered a big problem.
“Ortiz discovered that the jewelry provided by Hamida was not as represented, was worth far less than $127,000, and was not in all cases composed of the precious metals and gems of which Hamida had claimed them to be composed,” Kirpalani wrote.
Ortiz returned the low-grade items to Hamida and demanded the return of his necklace and bracelet, as well as his $80,000. Hamida promised to do so but failed to make good on the pledge, the ruling said.
Kirpalani wrote that Ortiz was defrauded of at least $104,600 by Hamida, including the $80,000 check and the necklace and bracelet, which were valued at more than $24,000. But he awarded Ortiz treble damages in accordance with Massachusetts law.
It was not clear Tuesday when Hamida will have to make the payments, or if he plans to appeal the judgment.