Scam artist Jordan Gann goes to prison

"I've manipulated almost everybody," Jordan Gann says as he gets 30 months.

By Colleen Jenkins, Times Staff Writer
Published March 8, 2008

TAMPA - Good looks, charm and wit helped Jordan Gann con unsuspecting people across the country, a judge said.

But those qualities won't keep him out of prison.

On Friday, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Robert Foster sentenced Gann, 27, to 30 months in prison on a grand theft charge. He will serve about two years due to jail credit, but then must complete six months of community control and 24 months of probation.

"You're a predator," the judge said. "You prey on the naive, the harmless and the trusting."

A year after getting out of prison for a similar scam in Bay County, Gann convinced a Largo biochemist that he was an obstetrician-gynecologist who had just bought a $2.3-million condo. He said he would give her $100,000 toward her student loans if she fronted $750 to open the account.

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

The woman did not attend Friday's hearing because of the media attention, prosecutor Chinwe Fossett said. The judge ordered Gann to pay $750 restitution.

Alone, the theft might seem minor. But Fossett asked the judge to consider Gann's act in light of his criminal history.

"He did it the same way he's done it so many times before," she said.

He has a pending grand theft charge in Pinellas County.

Fossett also detailed previous scams in Utah, New Hampshire, Orlando, Sarasota and Pensacola. Gann posed as a wealthy physician, lawyer or real estate investor, often targeting single women and carrying documentation that bolstered his stories. Complicating matters for police was the issue of his identity; Gann used aliases, including the name of his identical twin brother, Simon Gann.

Gann admitted a number of the crimes. At the time of his arrest in October, he told news reporters that he didn't owe anyone an explanation.

On Friday, Assistant Public Defender Jason Isaac said his client had been diagnosed with depressive and personality disorders and has a drug problem.

Gann said he was not going to use his drug issues as a crutch.

"I'm not here to blow smoke," he said. "I've manipulated almost everybody I've come into contact with. I know it's unacceptable."

Meredith Gavin, an Albany, N.Y., woman who believes her son was fathered by one of the Gann twins, doubts that Jordan Gann is remorseful.

She has no plans to cut back her efforts to warn people about the brothers. In addition to her Web site, she is scheduled to discuss their actions for a taping Tuesday of the Montel Williams Show.

"I'm glad he got that," she said of Jordan Gann's prison sentence. "In the meantime, I'm sure other things are going to pop up."

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