Alleged White House Crashers Drift Further From Reality

Jeweler: Tareq Salahi's watch was fake

By Matthew Stabley
|  Thursday, Dec 10, 2009  |  Updated 8:11 PM EDT
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Tareq and Michaele Salahi

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Tareq Salahi's watch? It's a fake!

The one he tried to use to pay off debt last week is bogus, according to a Pennsylvania jeweler. And with that news, the alleged state dinner crashers become even more unbelievable.

This is an audition for reality TV?

Their party crashing -- or unwitting discovery of a national security soft spot -- at the White House's Nov. 24 state dinner has brought Salahi and his wife, Michaele, the attention they craved, though maybe not in the fashion they wanted.

The spotlight the couple sought is shedding light on other allegations, including questionable fund-raising practices, a bounced check for $24,000 in booze and a $2,000 judgment against them for stiffing a landscaper. It was for that last debt that Tareq Salahi surrendered a Patek Phillipe watch that could be worth up to $325,000 if genuine.

Instead, Ray Cosey, owner of R.E. Jewelers Watch & Clock in Chambersburg, Pa., found it to be worth about $100, according to the Warren County Report. He got the watch after it first was sent to Jean's Jewelers in Front Royal for evaluation and any necessary repair. Jean Plauger thought it was a fake as soon as she saw it and she sought a second opinion.

No matter. A judge ordered the watch released Wednesday after a bank check for $2,063.55 was delivered Monday. J. Daniel Pond III, attorney for the landscaper, said the check will cover the Salahis' mowing bill.

But the watch wasn't released. Salahi attorney David Silek seemed agitated by the fact that the phony Patek Phillipe was not available to be returned Thursday, according to the Warren County Report. What are the Salahis to do if they need an emergency benjamin?

The only reason we believe this Cirque du Salahi might not be an act is because you just can't write this stuff!

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