Grant Cardone sues Hard Rock Stadium, F1 over stolen $750K watch

Crowdfunding multifamily investor alleges thieves robbed him at Miami Grand Prix due to lax security

Grant Cardone and Related's Stephen Ross (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Grant Cardone and Related's Stephen Ross (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Grant Cardone loves his Richard Mille watch collection. The crowdfunding multifamily investor occasionally flaunts his sparkly, ridiculously expensive wrist wear to his legion of followers on TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Now, Cardone is blaming billionaire developer Stephen Ross and Formula One for the alleged theft of one of his luxury timepieces.

On Oct. 10, Cardone sued Ross’ Hardrock Stadium, Formula One’s parent Liberty Media, Naples-based racing promoter Florida Motorsports and Cincinnati-based Whelan Event Services in Miami-Dade Circuit Court for $750,000 in damages.

Cardone alleges unknown thieves stole a Richard Mille watch worth $750,000 while he was in a VIP area of the Miami Grand Prix, which took place in May on the grounds of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. He claims the robbers took advantage of alleged lax security.

Cardone, Liberty Media and Formula One spokespersons, and Hard Rock Stadium CEO and President Tom Garfinkel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hard Rock Stadium and South Florida Motorsports filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Cardone agreed to resolve the matter through arbitration that is already taking place.

Ross founded New York-based Related Companies, and owns the stadium and its NFL hometeam, the Miami Dolphins. Ross, Florida Motorsports and Formula One partnered to put on the Miami Grand Prix. Over the past 12 months, Ross has expanded his firm’s presence in South Florida by acquiring and launching office projects in West Palm Beach, and partnering with Swire to develop an office tower at Brickell City Centre in Miami.

Ross also proposed redeveloping the historic Deauville hotel site in Miami Beach, but the city’s voters rejected his plan last week.

Over the past decade, Cardone has emerged as one of the nation’s most active buyers of multifamily projects. His Aventura-based firm Cardone Capital relies heavily on acquisition loans and crowdfunding from regular investors. With that, it has purchased about $5 billion worth of apartments in five states, including Florida, according to the company’s website.

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In May, Cardone Capital completed its most recent deal: The $100 million-plus acquisition of a 346-unit apartment complex on the Miami River.

Cardone’s social media accounts are populated with videos of him doling out investment advice and real estate market analyses; promoting his businesses and his congregation, the Church of Scientology; hobnobbing with celebrities; and bragging about how buying apartment complexes has made him wealthy.

In a 2020 TikTok selfie video, Cardone holds a martini glass with three of his Richard Mille watches and pretends to sip from it.

@grantcardone Richard stirred #richardmillie ♬ Going Bad feat. Drake – Meek Mill

In an Instagram clip last year, Cardone showed off six different Richard Mille watches he was contemplating buying, with a headline that read, “Should I spend $750,000 on this Richard Mille?”

According to the lawsuit, Cardone claims he was in the VIP Paddock Club of the Miami Grand Prix as a guest of Cushman & Wakefield. A brokerage spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cardone rubbed elbows with international soccer star David Beckham, NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, and music producer and The Goodtime Hotel co-owner Pharell Williams, the lawsuit states.


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“Attendees, including Cardone, were invited into the Paddock Club lounge and were encouraged to bring significant funds and sport the most expensive jewelry in the world under the false impression that security would be sufficient to protect the safety and personal possessions of such attendees,” the lawsuit states. “Yet adequate security at the Paddock Club lounge was nonexistent.”

According to the suit, a team of thieves who had access to VIP areas followed Cardone, his wife Elena, and a friend through the Paddock Club to the exit ramps, where they “orchestrated a massive distraction” to steal Cardone’s watch.