A confidence man who defrauded victims of millions of dollars while posing as a Saudi Prince was exposed after a Miami hotelier witnessed the imposter royal - supposedly a devout Muslim - eating pork during their meetings, according to RT.
The man was, in fact, Anthony Gignac, a Colombian scam artist known for targeting wealthy real estate developers while working under the alias ‘Sultan Bin Khalid Al-Saud’ as he finagled gifts worth around $50,000 from Jeffrey Soffer, the owner of the iconic Fontainebleau resort hotel on Miami Beach.
Soffer was reportedly negotiating with the fictional prince and several co-conspirators about a deal in which the prince would purchase a 30% stake in his hotel in return for a $440 million investment. During their negotiations, which went on for months, the 47-year-old Gignac stayed in the hotel. He was known for driving expensive cars bearing diplomatic plates, which he had apparently purchased on eBay.
Gignac reportedly flew Soffer to Aspen on a private jet in August to discuss the deal. Once there, Soffer gave the fraudster a gift of a Cartier bracelet worth tens of thousands of dollars. But Soffer said he only handed over the gift because it had been demanded by one of Gignac's associates because "the honor of the Sultan had been questioned."
Gignac was found out after Gignac was spotted eating pork during a meal - which should be against the religion of a devout Muslim. Soffer reported Gignac to the FBI, which opened an investigation. Gignac was arrested in November after being caught traveling from London to New York using a passport under a different name.
It's believed that the hotelier was one of 24 victims of Gignac's scam, which he operated over 20 years. His scam even involved a fake instagram account, which featured photos of luxury goods and hotel rooms.
The accused con man is being held in Miami and facing charges of impersonating a foreign official, identity theft and fraud.