Sugar Baron Robbed Of Millions At The Four Seasons

by Cary Randolph Fuller · March 9, 2010

Florida billionaire Jose "Pepe" Fanjul and his wife Olivia - parents of NYC socialite and PR queen Emilia Fanjul Pfiefler - flew to LA for a week of Oscar festivities and left a few million dollars poorer and several carats lighter. (We thought that only happened in Vegas.)

Seriously this sounds like a real-life version of To Catch a Thief. Last Friday, according to LA Weekly, Fanjul answered a knock on his hotel door to a man in a blue uniform (with whom he had just chatted in the elevator). The thief claimed to be the air conditioner technician. When he was welcomed into the room, he scooped up jewelry and other assets worth millions of dollars and fled, right before their eyes. Poor Pepe!

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This isn't the first time the thief has picked a high profile victim. He's suspected to be the same person who stole more than twenty grand from a locker room during an LA Clippers game. But this is the first time he's probably ever ripped off a bicoastal billionaire with socialite children living in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Havana, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. Not that Pepe, whose Flo-Sun sugar manufacturing empire is one of the largest in the U.S. and whose affair with NYC society grand dame Nina Griscom nearly dismantled his marriage to Emilia (right), will likely suffer from the relatively minor loss of assets.

Hopefully the criminal is caught and all stolen material restored. We already battle Florida for the title of top orange producer in the U.S. We can't let them take the title of friendlier to billionaires.

Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler at Fashion's NIght Out, right, and with high profile friends Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, Anisha Lakhani, Annie Churchill, and Chessy Wilson in 2008

[Photos via NYSD.com, Panache Privee, and Patrick McMullan, respectively.]