Feds Accuse LA Gambler of $3m Luxury Watch Ponzi Scheme

  • The Timepiece Gentleman, Anthony Farrer, faces 20 years in prison on a felony
  • The FBI currently estimates Farrer defrauded his victims out of $3m
  • Feds labeled it a classic Ponzi scheme, luring victims into making large transactions
Rolex watch
The FBI has arrested Anthony Farrer, 35, under suspicion of defrauding victims via his luxury watch Beverly Hills business. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Scam funds lavish life

A federal court in California has charged the ex-owner of Beverly Hills’ Gentleman Timepieces, Anthony Farrer, 35, for defrauding victims out of at least $3m in a Ponzi-style scheme he used to fund his gambling and luxury lifestyle.  

The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California (USAO-Los Angeles) took to X Thursday to share Farrer’s charge:

The FBI arrested Farrer, also known as ‘The Timepiece Gentleman,’ at a Venice storage facility Tuesday, a day after the filing of a federal criminal complaint of wire fraud against him. Although the FBI currently estimates Farrer defrauded his victims out of $3m, this is just a preliminary total as the ongoing investigation is still identifying more victims. 

Farrer, who enjoyed regular gambling trips to Las Vegas while carrying out his scheme, faces 20 years in federal prison under the felony of wire fraud.

Gentleman thief

‘The Timepiece Gentleman’ certainly played on the perception of living the lifestyle of a high-end curator, with the USAO-LA stating he drove a Lamborghini, rode Ducati motorcycles, and lived in a luxury rental.

I was simply looking for a way to afford my passion”

Farrer states on his website thetimepiecegentleman.com that he was “obsessed” with watches, a passion that began in high school. “When I first started buying and selling watches, I was simply looking for a way to afford my passion.”  

An affidavit states Farrer first established his luxury watch business in 2017 in Texas. The young, tattooed businessman opened his Beverly Hills branch five years later and would use his firm to broker deals between buyers and sellers of luxury timepieces.

Interestingly, it was only after the opening of his LA store in 2022 that the complaint alleges Farrer started defrauding his victims up until summer 2023. Instead of selling his clients’ watches on consignment as promised, Farrer allegedly kept the proceeds for himself.

Rolex shenanigans

According to the USAO-LA, the firm calling itself “collectors at heart” allegedly duped victims into wiring it funds for specific watches. Farrer would then allegedly send victims a totally different watch. In one instance, he allegedly sent a customer he owed money to a Rolex that another victim had given him to sell on consignment

Farrer’s website states “sourcing a watch typically takes between 24-48 hours” after paying a deposit. The man facing 20 years in prison also listed a “$2,000 non-refundable deposit” to source watches not featured in his inventory.

The feds allege Farrer’s scheme worked like a Ponzi scam, lulling victims via small, successful transactions to commit to “significantly larger transactions.” Farrer’s detention hearing is on November 9, with his arraignment scheduled for December 14.

Another recent Ponzi scheme was declared one of the biggest in Australian history after the death of a horse racing powerbroker a few weeks ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *