NYDN – A man passing himself off as a Saudi sheikh is really the sultan of squat.
Florida resident Anthony Gignac, who has been posing as Arab royalty for three decades, was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for swindling millions of dollars, according to the Miami Herald.
The 48-year-old Colombian-born grifter claimed to be Sultan Bin Khalid Al-Saud, who shamelessly bamboozled investors into believing he had the financial backing of the Saudi royal family in bogus business ventures.
I know we have a rocky relationship with Saudi Arabia, but it seems like we’ve reached even higher levels of tension now that we are arresting Saudi princes on our home soil. Sultan Bin Khalid Al-Saud was hauled in and sentenced to 18 years in prison for earning $8.1 million in investment funds…simply because he wasn’t Sultan Bin Khalid Al-Saud and was just a Florida man pretending to be one.
Giganc, who suffers from mixed personality disorder, admitted in court that he was to blame for duping victims. But he tried to portray himself as the only one being punished in a ring of criminal conspirators who schemed with him to hustle at least $8.1 million from trustful marks.
“The entire blame of this entire operation is on me, and I accept that,” Gignac told District Judge Cecilia Altonaga. “I am not a monster.”
The Sultan was living the glamorous life that is supposed to be afford to royalty, and documented everything on social media as @princedubai_07 because that’s what is expected of you in today’s culture.
Until his arrest in late 2017, Gignac was living a glamorous life, leasing a condo* on exclusive Fisher Island, driving a red Ferrari and snapping up Rolex watches, Cartier bracelets, Louis Vuitton luxury goods and a Royal Selangor tea set. With his sentencing, the U.S. Marshals Service will now auction all of his baubles, and the Justice Department will try to reimburse his investment victims.
It’s not his fault though. He has mixed personalities. Like that movie Split. This version of himself just happened to be a Saudi Prince. His investors should be lucky he was that and not The Beast…
…or even worse, Patricia.
The judge had no sympathy whatsoever.
But the unmoved judge, citing the defendant’s persistent impersonation act, sentenced him to the steep sentence.
“He was the mastermind,” said Altonaga. “He was the so-called Saudi prince. He enveloped himself in the trappings of Saudi royalty. He had everyone believing he was a Saudi prince.”
Also, he’s a Florida man. I was under the impression you couldn’t be charged with anything in Florida because you’re in Florida. Like diplomatic immunity. You’re just a product of your environment.
Time for America to show some respect to the fake royalty of other countries.
*”Living the glamorous life ‘leasing a condo'” is such a bum way of living glamorously.