Wiki – Lulu Lakatos Biography
Lulu Lakatos has been found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years in prison for stealing diamonds worth £4.2m, swapping them for pebbles in a plot akin to a Hollywood heist movie.
She posed as gem expert “Anna” sent to the luxury jewelers Boodles, in Mayfair, London, in March 2016 to value the stones on behalf of supposed wealthy Russian buyers.
She is 60 years old.
The seven diamonds, including one worth £2.2m, were placed in a padlocked purse and held in the New Bond Street store’s vault until funds were transferred.
But CCTV footage from the family firm’s basement showroom captured the moment the purse was put into Lakatos’ handbag and switched for a duplicate in seconds using “sleight of hand”.
Nicholas Wainwright, the chair of Boodles, had briefly left to talk on the phone to an apparent Russian buyer named “Alexander” whom he had met over lunch at the Hotel Metropole, Monaco.
The jewelers’ diamond expert, Emma Barton, raised suspicions, but the diamonds, believed to have been concealed in a hidden compartment, were not found in Lakatos’ handbag. She left the shop before switching the gems to the purse of an unknown woman, and the international gang of criminals fled the UK for France in less than three hours.
When the purse in Boodles’ safe was opened the following day, inside were seven small garden pebbles. The diamonds have never been recovered.
Lakatos claimed Anna was, in fact, her late younger sister, Liliana Lakatos. The latter had confessed to using the former’s passport to commit the crime months before she died in a car crash, aged 49, in Romania, in October 2019.
Liliana Lakatos was wanted in Switzerland for an almost identical plot, where an envelope containing €400,000 (£340,000) was switched for a duplicate filled with paper.
But on Wednesday, Lulu Lakatos was found guilty at Southwark crown court of conspiracy to steal on or before 10 March 2016, by a jury majority of 10 to one after nine hours and 19 minutes of deliberation.
The judge, Emma Goodall QC, said she would sentence Lakatos later on Wednesday.
Romanian-born Lakatos, from Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, has three previous convictions for theft in France. She arrived in London the day before the robbery. She was seen on CCTV with Georgeta Danila, 53, entering the Cricklewood Lodge Hotel, London, before making a reconnaissance trip to Boodles with Christophe Stankovic and Mickael Jovanovic.