A New York City tourist on vacation with his family in Barcelona claims his $800,000 luxury watch was stolen right off his wrist — but Spanish authorities have disputed the price tag, saying it’s worth only $45,000.
Video from the alleged broad-daylight theft from last Tuesday shows Seth Bernstein walking up an alley with his kids in tow when the mugger comes from behind and suddenly snatches the watch off his arm — all in a matter of seconds.
Bernstein, who settled with the Justice Department last year over allegations he misused COVID relief funds, confirmed to The Post via text message that he was the victim of the crime.
Now, he is hitting back at Barcelona cops — accusing them of lying about the price of his high-fashion timepiece.
“Now spain wants to lie about [the] value,” Bernstein texted Tuesday, accusing the country of being “embarrassed” by the crime in a city that’s “ridden with thieves.”
The alleged robbery set off a firestorm in Spanish media last week — initially reporting that the then-unidentified mugging victim told cops the Hublot watch was worth $800,000, making it the most expensive watch heist in Barcelona history, El Pais reported.
But Catalan authorities downgraded the watch’s price tag significantly, appraising it at just $45,000.
The discrepancy between the two values was not clear and Bernstein refused to tell The Post what type of watch was stolen and whether it was recovered, only saying “insurance will cover it.”
The New Yorker also claimed that the alleged thief “cut my wrist” and “my poor kids witnessed it.”
Police said he suffered minor injuries.
Footage of the alleged mugging also contradicted Bernstein’s initial claims that he was surrounded by a group of muggers — with just one thief shown on the video, Spanish media reported.
The theft happened in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, a popular destination for tourists.
Last year, Bernstein was accused of misappropriating a Paycheck Protection Program loan to his company, JetReady, for “personal expenses,” according to a Justice Department press release. The company received COVID-relief funds totaling $1,173,382 in April 2020, the feds said.
Bernstein agreed to pay the feds $287,055 for allegedly diverting $98,929 of the funds to pay for “personal, non-company related expenses” and JetReady has since filed for bankruptcy, according to the August 2021 press release.
Bernstein did not respond to a request for comment about his federal case.
Meanwhile, the US government has repeatedly warned travelers about street crime in popular tourist spots in Spain.
“U.S. citizens have reported pickpocketing, theft, and sexual assault, and occasionally other violent attacks,” the State Department’s website says. “Thieves often work in teams to distract your attention.”