tampabay.com

Con man could get 5 years

Police say he scams single women by pretending to be a wealthy physician.

By COLLEEN JENKINS, Times Staff Writer
Published January 9, 2008


TAMPA - Jordan Gann, who police say posed as a wealthy physician and real estate investor to scam single women across the country, pleaded guilty Tuesday to grand theft.

He is accused of stealing $750 from a Largo biochemist at a Tampa mall.

It's a charge that could bring up to five years in prison when Gann, 27, is sentenced March 7.

Investigators have said they believe Gann left victims in other parts of the country, but this is his only charge in Tampa, police say.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office declined to comment on whether other agencies are investigating Gann.

Prosecutors didn't offer a plea deal, so the severity of Gann's punishment is up to Hillsborough Circuit Judge Robert Foster. The judge ordered a presentencing investigation to look into Gann's personal history and criminal record.

That record includes a two-year prison stint on a 2004 grand theft charge out of Panama City.

"The state is asking for nothing less" on the current charge, said prosecutor Chinwe Fossett.

However, under sentencing guidelines, Gann is eligible for a sentence that doesn't include prison time, said public defender Jason Isaac.

Tampa police arrested Gann in October, saying he convinced a woman that he was a doctor who could help her pay off her student loans.

He said his name was Dr. Johnathan Marino and he owned a $2.3-million condo. He told her he would wire her $100,000 if she paid him $750 first, Fossett said.

She met him at WestShore Plaza with her money in hand. When she changed her mind, he grabbed the cash and ran.

Gann has a twin brother, Simon, whose name he has used as an alias.

In Virginia, Alexandria police Detective Ed Milner has investigated con claims against Simon Gann.

He congratulated Jordan Gann on pleading guilty.

"I think it's great that he did the right thing," Milner said.

Fossett said the state is convinced it has the right twin in custody. In addition to investigators checking fingerprints, Jordan Gann "has confessed to the crime," she said.

The news of Gann's guilty plea pleased Meredith Gavin, a woman in Albany, N.Y. with a Web site to warn the public about the twins.

"I think he should get the maximum," said Gavin, who contends Gann has conned other women.

Gavin, a single mom, believes her son was fathered by one of the Gann twins. She said she might show up at the sentencing hearing. "He would be in shock if he saw my face in the courtroom," she said.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or 813 226-3337.