Almanac

News - October 27, 2010

Con man Simon Gann accused of committing crime behind bars

by Sandy Brundage

You can't keep a good con man down. Simon Gann, a convicted fraudster who allegedly sweet-talked a Menlo Park woman into a relationship and out of money by pretending to be a millionaire MIT graduate named "Saleem Dutante" who could count cards "like Rainman," has earned four additional felony charges despite being locked up.

The 29-year-old man remains in custody on $100,000 bail. However, being locked up is no reason to stop committing crime. According to the district attorney's office, Mr. Gann allegedly wrote his Menlo Park victim, trading sweet talk for threats.

Unless she refused to testify, her sexual history would be broadcast far and wide. He also offered to privately pay back the money. The victim was not impressed, and reported the letters to police.

Authorities tripled his initial bail after discovering Mr. Gann's multiple convictions for fraud last year in Canada. His jury trial has now been postponed until Nov. 5.

He's charged with obtaining approximately $1,900 under false pretenses and grand theft. He also racked up a charge of resisting arrest by attempting to evade Menlo Park police by hiding in his accuser's closet.

And, thanks to the alleged letters, Mr. Gann will have to explain two counts of witness tampering and two counts of attempting to bribe a witness.

If found guilty, Mr. Gann could now serve up to five years in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.

A penchant for ripping people off appears to run in the family. His identical twin brother, Jordan, is serving five years in Florida prison for conning a woman out of thousands of dollars by posing as an Ivy League oncologist and real estate mogul in 2008.

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