Daddy Dearest: Fugitive Father Buys $77 Million in Diamonds for 7-Year-Old Daughter

Just imagine if she were to have a bat mitzvah.

Hong Kong billionaire and fugitive from justice Joseph Lau reportedly purchased the two top record-setting lots at this week’s Geneva auctions. A spokesperson told CNN that the diamonds were gifts to his daughter Josephine, who is 7. 

On Nov. 10, the real estate magnate bought a 16.08 ct. pink diamond at Christie’s for $28.5 million, setting a record for a fancy vivid pink. He renamed it the Sweet Josephine. The next day, he bought the 12.03 ct. Blue Moon for $48.5 million, which is the highest price ever paid for a diamond bought at auction, both in overall price and price per carat. Lau renamed it the Blue Moon of Josephine. Total price: $77 million.

In 2009, he bought the 7.03 ct. blue diamond at Sotheby’s for $9.5 million and dubbed it the Star of Josephine.

Lau’s other daughter, Zoe, has also been getting more than Barbie dolls. In November 2014, he bought a 9.75 ct. blue at Sotheby’s for $32.6 million and christened it the Zoe diamond. That same year, he bought a 10.1 ct. ruby, now named the Zoe Red, for $8.4 million, or $835,000 per ct. That’s the second highest-price paid for a ruby at auction.

The big money gifts have sparked much snark and astonishment. New York Post called Lau’s daughter “the world’s most spoiled kid.” JCK commenter Marvin Finker wrote, “Think about when she brings it to school for show and tell.”

Media coverage has pointed out that in addition to being a generous father, Lau is currently a fugitive. According to Reuters, earlier this year Lau received a five-year jail term in Macau for bribery and money laundering. He currently lives in Hong Kong, which has no extradition treaty with Macau, the news agency said.*

According to Forbes, Lau is worth $10 billion, making him the 114th richest man in the world.

Lau’s company, Chinese Estates, did not return a request for comment.

* This sentence has been corrected.

JCK News Director