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Update: Tareq Salahi's Patek Phillipe watch isn't working, clerk's office says

Tareq Salahi takes a ticket (for an expired inspection sticker) off his windshield after a court appearance in Front Royal Friday. (James Hohmann/The Washington Post)

Yet another snarl for the Salahis: The fancy Patek Phillipe watch that Tareq Salahi handed over last Friday to satisfy a debt to his one-time landscaper is not working, the Warren County Clerk's Office says.

Sheila Thomas, deputy clerk of the Warren County General District Court, told our colleague James Hohmann by phone Tuesday that the watch does seem to be an authentic Patek Philippe, which can typically cost well more than $15,000. But it's an authentic watch that doesn't work.

"It was taken to a local jeweler," Thomas said. "They sent it away to be repaired."

The watch will still likely be sold after it's repaired.

David W. Silek, the attorney representing the Salahis on the landscaping debt case, said he didn't know that the watch wasn't working -- and said he had seen it ticking away when his client handed it over to the clerk's office on Friday.

"The second hand was moving when I last saw that watch," Silek said. "It's powered by movement. If the watch sits still, it doesn't have movement."

Last December, a judge ordered Tareq and Michaele Salahi to pay $925 they owed landscaper Mike E. Dunbar, plus $900 in attorney's fees, $53 in court costs and 6 percent interest -- about $2,000. The Salahis never paid.

UPDATED, 6:00 p.m.: No need to sell that watch -- the Salahis are set to get it back after they delivered a certified check for roughly $2,000 to Dunbar's attorney. Dunbar, 43, of Front Royal, told Hohmann that his lawyer will deposit it into a trust, deduct the fees he's owed, and then pay him the rest. And then Tareq Salahi can pick up his watch on Wednesday.

Dunbar said he's relieved he doesn't have to wait until the watch is sold and the money collected. "It's about getting paid for what was mine," he said.

By The Reliable Source  |  December 8, 2009; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Update , White House crashers  
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Next: Salahis will plead the Fifth if subpoenaed, lawyer says


So the watch doesn't work.

Just like its previous owner.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | December 8, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: rlj1 | December 8, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It seems that someone was fooled by a "Canal Street" imitation.

Posted by: bdudley1 | December 8, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought these two were "wealthy". How poor and strapped for cash do you have to be that you basically have to "pawn" your watch, rather than just writing a $2,000 dollar check.

These two are the poster children for "trailer trash".

Posted by: Nosh1 | December 8, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Their secret may be: don't pay bills.

Posted by: axolotl | December 8, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Only the little people pay bills....

Posted by: vigor | December 8, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So they still owe the $2000. The judge ought to haul them back into court & put them on the chain gang. Make them wear an orange jump suit (or stipes) & clean up trash!!!

Posted by: | December 8, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | December 8, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Send them to jail. Then, they will get all the attention that they crave!!

Posted by: jweber91 | December 8, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny!

Posted by: oyvey | December 8, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding snark, Sas!

I wonder, though, whether they even paid the bill for the watch in the first place...

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Throughout this saga, I have been reminded of two things:

1) The recent book "Empire of Illusion," which predicts even more of this type of thing in the future, and

2) The particularly effectively scolding a friend received from her mother as a child, back in the days when parents were engaged enough to do such things: "Go to your room, and think about if you would ever again want to do something so common."

Posted by: Trustingsoul | December 8, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Put them in jail until the watch works and until they pay (with a good check) for the repairs being done on it. Then sell the watch for one dollar over what is owed the landscaper (this distressed market).

Some jail time might help them get used to being there when they are sentenced for tresspassing for their illegal entry into the White House. And it might help them get right with their other creditors before they go to jail.

Posted by: catlady1 | December 8, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god! I can't believe the watch isn't WORKING! And you know, it could cost well over a thousand dollars, depending on what the problem is, to get it to working again-oh those fun-loving Salahis! Wait until the other shoe drops on them-the BIG shoe-the one where the state of VA. is investigating their so-called "charity"-they'll be wishing they ONLY had watch troubles then!

And again, Post, what about Michele's gorgeous Indian dress? Where did it come from, and how was it paid for-perhaps it was rented? And how did she pay for 8 hours worth of hair treatment at Erwin Gomez Salon in Georgetown, huh? Methinks that wasn't paid for either!

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | December 8, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"The second hand was moving when I last saw that watch," Silek said. "It's powered by movement. If the watch sits still, it doesn't have movement."

What gets me is reading that a $15,000 watch doesn’t work unless it has movement!! So, does that mean you have to sleep with the watch on, because if you set it on the dresser at night the time will be wrong the next morning?! Very telling that status is so important that one wouldn't care about the accuracy of a timepiece!

Posted by: silverspringDemocrat | December 8, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The Salahis . . .

The Gift That Keeps On Giving . . . .

Posted by: palmtree2001 | December 8, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder, though, whether they even paid the bill for the watch in the first place..."
Posted by: Nosy_Parker

Oh my, yes, never thought of that. It seems we must think differently when it comes to the Salahis. Like when you see a child wearing a Patek Phillipe watch, you just don't assume its the child's or that the child paid for it. Thanks for helping me put the Salahis into a category of human I can understand. It helps explain so much about why they act the way they do.

Posted by: Fate1 | December 8, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Warning to all present as audience,when Mr&Mrs Sleaze Bag arrive in Congressional Hearing Room to plead the TARP Amendment,the new one that permits you not to be accountable for anything,if you are a Wall Streeter,Banker,Girl Friend of a Famous Senator,Golfer,or Govenor,or just plain "Rich and Famous".
Please count your money,paper and coin, before entering room,check any and all Credit Cards before and after you enter the room. Watch all Rings and Watches that you have on your person. Check anything of value at the front desk.
Do not play Cards,Dice,or any game of chance with the Star Witness's during the break.
Enjoy the show,no cover charge.

Posted by: jeromejmarkiewicz | December 10, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

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