NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has filed a lawsuit accusing a California businessman of cheating him out of $9 million through jewelry purchases.

Area media report that Brees and his wife filed suit Monday in California against Vahid Moradi, who operates CJ Charles Jewelers in San Diego.

Brees claims multiple pieces of jewelry he purchased as investments over time appraised for $9 million less than he paid for the pieces. The items include a blue-diamond ring that cost about $8.2 million.

The suit claims Brees confronted Moradi and the dealer admitted to charging a substantial markup. The suit says the two were close friends.

An attorney for Moradi says Brees attempted to "bully" the man after items didn't increase in value the way the player had hoped they would.

"He should restrict his game-playing to the football field," attorney Eric George said. "And refrain from bullying honest, hard-working businessmen like my client."