Eric the Jeweler blames Mondrian South Beach owners for $2M heist: lawsuit

Mondrian lacks cameras in stairwells, hallways and an unsupervised loading dock that made it easy for thieves to move undetected, complaint alleges.

TRD MIAMI /
Mar.March 17, 2020 12:30 PM
Eric the Jeweler suing Mondrian South Beach owners

Eric the Jeweler suing Mondrian South Beach owners

Eric Mavachev, a New York City jeweler who counts Sean “Diddy” Combs and Drake among his A-list clientele, is blaming the owners and two employees of the Mondrian South Beach Hotel for the theft of nearly $2 million in baubles from his hotel room last month, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Mavachev and his girlfriend Jennifer Shafir are suing Crescent Heights, company co-founder Russell Galbut, his new Mondrian partner Michael Liebowitz, Mondrian hotel manager Eddie Rodriguez, Mondrian front desk manager Alex Carnot and High Class Security, the firm that handles the hotel’s security, according to the suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The couple allege unknown burglars were able to easily break into their room due to a lack of cameras in an unsupervised loading dock, stairwells and hallways of the Mondrian at 1100 West Avenue in Miami Beach.

“My clients went to a hotel that touts itself as luxurious, glamorous and catering to high net worth individuals,” said Jordan Shaw, the attorney for Mavachev and Shafir. “The Mondrian had a duty to provide proper security cameras and have people in place to prevent individuals from walking out with a giant safe under their arm.”

Galbut did not respond to email and phone messages requesting comment. A spokesperson for the Mondrian declined comment.

According to the complaint, Mavachev, known as “Eric the Jeweler,” and Shafir booked a room at the Mondrian with Carnot for Super Bowl LIV weekend in early February.

They were “clandestine in their reservation” in order to protect their privacy and ensure their security since Mavachev often travels to see his “high-end clientele with valuable items,” the lawsuit states. At about 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, Mavachev, Shafir and their friends left the room for dinner and a night out. A few hours later, “a bad actor” was able to enter their room and rip out a closet safe that contained nearly $2 million in jewelry Mavachev had planned to sell to celebrities in town for the big game, according to the suit.

The “bad actor” also stole a designer fur coat, two Chanel purses and $5,000 in cash belonging to Shafir, the lawsuit alleges. Police subsequently arrested and charged Miami resident Xandi Garcia with burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen jewelry. Cops busted Garcia trying to sell one of the stolen items, a ring, at the Seybold Building in downtown Miami.

The lawsuit does not name Garcia, but the complaint alleges that the “bad actor” took advantage of the lack of surveillance cameras to enter the room.

In December, Crescent Heights sold 50 percent of the Mondrian to Liebowitz for an undisclosed amount. Liebowitz is president and CEO of Harbor Group Consulting, which advises large banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, UBS and Deutsche Bank, according to a press release. Glabut retained 50 percent ownership.


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