A Florida businessman who founded a website he dubbed 'Facebook for the filthy rich' is suing his ex-fiancée for stealing $2.1m (£1.4m) in gold and jewellery from his vault after they split. Scott Patrick Mitchell, from Palm Harbor, near Tampa, says he is missing 99 three-diamond necklaces, 147 gold rings and 172 loose diamonds.
The 44-year-old is accusing former girlfriend Mary Catherine Hunt, 30, who also faces a criminal charge, and her parents who, he says, helped stash the loot. Mitchell, who lives in a $2.6m (£1.8m) home, is chief executive officer of Simply Organic, a distributor and manufacturer of professional salon products.
In 2008 he launched Affluence.org, which he called "Facebook for the filthy rich" a social networking site for "elite" individuals. He told police that he had bought the luxury items from cash-strapped jewellers at discount prices during the recession, acquiring the gold and gems for about $900,000.
According to Mitchell the haul is uninsured and the only other person that knew the combination for the vault was Hunt. Hunt denies all the allegations.
Mitchell told officers that he had met Hunt in 2013. During their relationship he says he covered mortgage payments, utility bills, credit card debt, auto and health insurance, gym membership, yoga and massage memberships, cellphone bills, and took her along on 11 international vacations, he said in a court affidavit, according to the Tampa Times.
But he split up with her after she 'bruised his face three times', he says and called off their August wedding. On 11 August CCTV caught Hunt and her mother, Linda Hunt, at a UPS Store sending a package which they tried to insure for the maximum allowed then decided not to after hearing the insurance cost was $50,000.
Then on 19 August according to the sheriff's reports, her father, Michael Hunt drunk-dialled Mitchell saying UPS had delivered a box of gold, diamonds and silver to the family home. Quick-thinking Hunt recorded the phone call and went to his safe with Hunt on the phone and discovered the haul missing.
Afterwards Hunt denied knowing anything about any gold or jewellery being delivered. Police officers then allegedly showed him a UPS box accepted by "M. Hunt".
"Hell, I don't know," he said, according to the police report. "I had been drinking for five ... days." A hearing is set for 24 February. Hunt is criminally charged with grand theft in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court.