Drew Brees owed $6.1 million in lawsuit against jeweler accused of diamond fraud

FILE - In this Dec. 23, 2018, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reacts after a touchdown carry by running back Alvin Kamara, not pictured, in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in New Orleans. Drew Brees is about to play his first game at 40. It's also the biggest game he's played in nine seasons and a Super Bowl is on the line. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees celebrates after a touchdown. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is owed more than $6.1 million in damages after a San Diego jury decided that an area jeweler exploited their friendship and defrauded him of millions.

In 2018, Brees and his wife, Brittany, filed a lawsuit against La Jolla jeweler Vahid Moradi alleging that Moradi lied to them about the value of diamonds that were purchased as an investment.

The Breeses purchased the diamonds for $15 million, but later learned from another jeweler that they had paid more than they were worth. In reality, the couple were defrauded of more than $6 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

In early June, Brees testified in court saying that he and his wife purchased the diamonds as an investment as they were supposed to appreciate in value. He admitted he knew little about the investment tactic, but was assured by Moradi that the diamonds would appreciate between 150 to 200 percent, per Fox5 San Diego.

“I always try to see the best in people and unfortunately that's probably why I'm in this situation right now,” Brees testified at the time.

Originally, Brees and Moradi became friends in 2003 when Brees was a member of the San Diego Chargers. Since then, Brees remained a customer of Moradi and began investing in the diamonds around 2008.

In one specific example, a ring sold for $8.1 million by Moradi was actually worth $3.75 million.

"Drew trusted Moradi," Rebecca Riley, an attorney of Brees, said at the time. "He held him in esteem. He believed him to be a friend."

The verdict, which was delivered on Friday, will be appealed by Moradi, per The Advocate. His attorney, Kevin Rooney, said in a statement that they "passionately disagree" with the decision.

A potential appeal could lessen the amount owed.

"The jury worked hard and saw Mr. Moradi as the confidence man that he is," read a statement from the Breeses and their attorney, Andrew Kim.

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