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  • Anthony Gig Neck is a character you could not invent in the wildest fiction starts off life as an orphan in Colombia and sort of shot for the stars, so to speak.

  • Are con artist born or con artist made?

  • I think it is really a combination in his mind.

  • I believe that he thought he was a Saudi prince.

  • Rich and powerful people will commonly accept another person they perceive as rich and powerful without asking too many questions.

  • If we're talking about putting all of these extremely wealthy 1% people in a fishpond, for example, the Saudi royal family would be the biggest fish in the pond.

  • The Saudi royal family is huge, has hundreds of princes.

  • Nobody knows who they are, but it's commonly assumed that they're all fabulously rich.

  • The Saudi royal family keeps its own accounting of its own household, so they know who's in and who's out.

  • But this is never shared with the public, so it would be virtually impossible for somebody outside of the royal family or outside of the kingdom.

  • Thio even check to see if someone is a member of the royal family.

  • Jose Enrique Moreno was born in Bogota, capital city of Colombia in 1970.

  • At the time, a brutal drug war was tearing the country apart at the seams, and some 13,000 Children were born into this chaos.

  • Without homes and often without names or families, Jose spent much of his childhood foraging for food or stealing.

  • He was one of, you know, the thousands of kids who lived on the street and had a really, really tough, brutal existence in the beginning.

  • In 1977 Jose and his brother were adopted by Jim Gignac and Nancy Fitzgerald, a middle class couple from Plymouth, Michigan.

  • When this couple from America adopted him, it was like a rescue like a lifeboat.

  • It was just a Nen credible thing that happened to this young man.

  • But for Jose, whose name was now Anthony Gignac, the survival instinct would always be a part of him.

  • Anthony Gignac is an example of the con artist who came from an absolutely awful background and sort of shot for the stars, so to speak.

  • At school, he would lie frequently about his adoptive parents wealth.

  • He told classmates that his mother owned the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in second grade, he bragged that his father was actor Dom DeLuise.

  • In sixth grade, he convinced a local car dealership that he was a Saudi prince.

  • The salesman at the dealership happily picked him up with the local shopping mall and gave him a test ride.

  • And from then on it just kept getting bigger and bigger, escalating Mawr and Mawr, And it soon took him far from Michigan.

  • Our con artist, born or con artist made.

  • I think it is really a combination.

  • He was already an outsider, and as an outsider, you tend to observe people around you.

  • You try to, you know, figure out their behavior, what they're interested in.

  • It gives you an interesting vantage point.

  • Anthony's mental state rapidly declined when his adoptive parents divorced.

  • Anthony's brother was sent to live with their father, and Anthony spent time to psychiatric hospital suffering mental breakdowns.

  • He ran away from his halfway home at 17 and ended up back on the streets.

  • I don't think anyone could pinpoint the exact point when a man turns to fantasy, but at some point this happened to him when he emerged from whatever he was going through.

  • He was no longer Anthony Gig Nak, an orphan from Colombia.

  • In his mind, I believe that he thought he was a Saudi prince, and that belief enabled him to just go into the world and create havoc in a way.

  • On December 30th, 1993 a wealthy 23 year old named Khalid bin Al Sowed, invited to man up to his penthouse at the Grand Hotel, complete with a view fit for a prince.

  • A member of the House, Saudi Saudi Arabia's massive royal family, Khalid lived a life of unimaginable luxury and opulence.

  • He went on five figure shopping sprees, stayed at luxury hotels, dressed himself in designer brands and his Chihuahua even more diamond collars, and traveled in a Louis Vuitton dog carrier.

  • That night, as the door closed, the two men beat Khalid, robbed him and left him bloodied in his room.

  • The hotel called the police, who then called the Saudi Embassy, to inform them that one of their ruling elite had been assaulted.

  • But the Saudi embassy was puzzled.

  • They didn't know who Khalid Waas House of South, has some 15,000 members, but none of them were this 23 year old Miami playboy.

  • Whoever this man Waas.

  • He was not a Saudi prince.

  • Before the police could figure out their next move, the man had disappeared.

  • His goal was to live in opulent lifestyle.

  • He couldn't have picked a better royal family to impersonate.

  • Things began relatively small.

  • He stiffed the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in California for nearly 4000 in room and food charges.

  • He took limousines to Malibu, racking up thousands of dollars in bills, and persuaded Rodeo Drive shopkeepers into giving him Louis Vuitton luggage, all because he was able to convince people he was royalty.

  • He knew what toe wear first of all, the wristwatch.

  • He had dozens of wristwatches that he showed off for the camera.

  • The second thing is the jewelry.

  • He always had massive amounts of jewelry draped around his neck, then the cars.

  • Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, bodyguards following him on Entourage at all times and finally least, but not least, my favorite part of his entourage, his Chihuahua foxy, who he draped in diamonds and dressed in Burberry dog clothes.

  • So you look at the whole package and you think this guy's a Saudi prince, you know, he really sort of chose this amazingly perfect role being a Saudi prince, and he played it to perfection.

  • There's one instance where it's pretty clear he's going to be exposed, and he throws this complete fit and then demands that the people the only way that they could make up to him is to give him a gift where $50,000.

  • So I mean, that shows incredible audacity.

  • But it's very clever, because that is what people would think a spoiled, rich Saudi prince would do.

  • The Saudi royal family was really almost the perfect con for him.

  • He kept going back to it over and over and over because it worked.

  • Over a period of three decades, he was arrested 11 times for Prince relating activities.

  • Each time his cons became more extravagant, from cheating high end hotels out of tens of thousands of dollars to collecting investments for made up oil companies to racking up shopping bills over 50 $1000 at a time.

  • Over and over again, he was caught, pleaded guilty, sentenced to probation and disappeared once again to start a new cons somewhere else.

  • You'd be amazed at how successful con artist can be if they keep up this persona in a country as Bigas, the United States.

  • It's pretty easy to pick up and move.

  • People don't know who you are and pull the same con.

  • Eventually he was charged with fraud and grand theft and sentenced to 616 days in prison.

  • He started contacting lawyers from his jail cell and convince them that he was a Saudi prince and that, should they represent him, the king of Saudi Arabia would personally pay their services.

  • Oscar Rodriguez, a Miami attorney, bought it and got to bail bondsman to post $46,000 bond to release the young prince from prison.

  • So Gignac got two men to drive him to a local American Express office and miraculously got his hands on a credit card with a $200 million limit.

  • With the Saudi family, there's kind of an expectation that they can get away with things, and I wouldn't be surprised if American Express had experienced this kind of thing before.

  • It wasn't long before the American Express Fraud Department caught on to what was happening.

  • They phoned Deaniacs bail bondsman and informed them that he was not in fact a Saudi prince and was currently committing credit card fraud.

  • He was thrown in jail and sentenced to 46 months for wire fraud, which turned into 83 months after he attempted to escape by lighting his jail sail on fire.

  • He was released in the early two thousands and returned to his mother's home in Michigan, where he arrived in a white fur coat driving a Cadillac.

  • Things slowed down for Gignac in Michigan, and he served out the terms of his parole.

  • But he was far from done.

  • King that came to Miami and rented a condominium on Fisher Island.

  • If you're living on Fisher Island, you must be somebody because it's not easy to live on Fisher Island and not cheap.

  • And in the garage.

  • He had his Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces, and one of the people that was working with him contacted one of somebody was working with Jeffrey Sofa and said Prince al Assad would like to buy a portion of the Fountain Blue hotel, and that's how it all started.

  • He duped.

  • Jeffrey saw for one of the most powerful real estate tycoons in Miami by saying that he wanted to buy a sizable percentage of the fountain bloom, a luxury hotel owned by saw for even in the world of thes, very high rolling CEOs who are in charge of these mega companies, who, you would think would not necessarily be seduced by this.

  • But there is this perception of the crown and of royalty of having this magnetic pull, and you could see it playing out in every con that Anthony Gignac played the game was to keep.

  • So for on the hook, Gignac promising a large investment while so for gave him expensive gifts forest long as he could, his lies started to get really out of hand.

  • He claimed that he had diplomatic status.

  • This was a foolish thing to lie about.

  • The Jake was up, though, when Gignac out to dinner with So For and his family made the fatal mistake of ordering prosciutto for his appetizer.

  • What kind of Muslim eats pork thought so for who then enlisted his security team to investigate a team that was looking into his background, simply contact at a Saudi associate and said, Look, is this guy a diplomat?

  • And apparently they sent him like a two word response that said No again, Gignac fled this time to Paris, Hong Kong and London.

  • When he arrived back in America, federal agents arrested him.

  • He was incarcerated in New York for a time and then flown to Miami to face trial.

  • That's where I came into this story.

  • I went to the hearing in Miami just to see who this man waas, because I couldn't believe he existed, to tell you the truth, and I wanted to see who he was and what he looked like.

  • He stood up in court.

  • He told his story.

  • He testified he was always eager to get up and speak in court and watching him in court that day in Miami.

  • I just thought, Wow, he was just so insistent that he was innocent and that he should be freed.

  • And he was just It was just like a grand performance.

  • In May of 2019, Gignac was found to have defrauded investors the tune of $8 million and it was convicted in a Miami court.

  • He was repeatedly arrested, imprisoned, photographed, fingerprinted.

  • But every time he seemed to be able to get out, and now he's serving 18 years in a federal penitentiary.

Anthony Gig Neck is a character you could not invent in the wildest fiction starts off life as an orphan in Colombia and sort of shot for the stars, so to speak.

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How a Fake Saudi Prince Stole $8M From Investors | True Crime | Vanity Fair

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/04
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