MIAMI – A man who impersonated a Saudi prince to con investors and live a lavish lifestyle has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Anthony Gignac received the sentence Friday in Miami for stealing at least $8 million while impersonating Sultan Bin Khalid Al-Saud, buying a Ferrari, Rolex watches and renting a condo on an exclusive South Florida island.
"Over the course of the last three decades, Anthony Gignac has portrayed himself as a Saudi prince in order to manipulate, victimize and scam countless investors from around the world," U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan said. "As the leader of a sophisticated, multi-person, international fraud scheme, Gignac used his fake persona -- Prince Khalid Bin Al-Saud -- to sell false hope. He sold his victims on hope for their families, careers and future. As a result, dozens of unsuspecting investors were stripped of their investments, losing more than $8 million."
The Miami Herald reports that U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga called him a "mastermind."
Gignac was born in Colombia 48 years ago but was adopted by a Michigan family as a young child. He is an American citizen. He pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud, impersonating a diplomat and other crimes.
He told Altonaga that while he accepted responsibility, other people were involved and should have been charged.