Notorious con artist Simon Gann may be lurking in Valley

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Police in California says he’s a notorious con man with a history of scamming unsuspecting victims up and down the West Coast. Could Simon Gann be lurking in the Valley?

A Phoenix woman claims she’s his latest victim.

"This guy was so convincing, had such a good story," said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified.

She does, however, want to warn others after a man she believes was Gann approached her and a friend while at Jobot Coffee in downtown Phoenix.

"He said he worked on Wall Street and made millions of dollars working on Wall Street. He told this elaborate story," she said. He also told her he graduated from MIT, spoke multiple languages and was an expert card player.

Following a three-hour conversation, he convinced her and her friend to go to a casino to play the tables.

"He said, 'I help win money for all my friends. I’d really like to help you get the money for this project.'"

She said they had discussed a special work project that he promised to fund.

However, at the casino, he took their money and disappeared.

She filed a police report, then did some detective work online. It didn’t take long for her to find a long list of news reports, even a blog dedicated to Simon Gann and his twin brother.

"My jaw totally, literally dropped," she said.

Records show Gann has been in and out of jail in multiple cities and states, including Las Vegas, Seattle and California, where he also served prison time in 2011.

A spokesman with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says Gann is currently considered a "parolee at large" --  a fugitive.

"I think that’s almost part of the game, looking back being able to analyze everything that happened," said the possible Phoenix victim. "The psychology involved in what he does, all these things he did to get trust."

She said she never expected to be scammed like this. Now a victim herself, she wants people in our area on alert.

"If something seems too good to be true , it probably is."