Fake Doc's Fate Pleases Woman Described As Victim
TAMPA - Accused con artist Jordan Gann stood in court today and admitted he is a liar. "I manipulated almost everybody I come into contact with," said Gann, 27, of Methuen, Mass. "I know it's unacceptable. I'm not going to rationalize it." Circuit Judge Robert A. Foster Jr. agreed. He sentenced Gann to 2 1/2 years in a Florida state prison on a felony grand theft charge involving $750 Gann stole from a woman after purporting to be a doctor. Gann pleaded guilty in January. The case is a twist on a scam Gann often used in which he presented himself as a lawyer, doctor or wealthy real-estate investor, prosecutors said."I don't know if anything I do is going to change you in any way, shape or form," Foster said. "You move in for the kill. You're a predator. ... That's the cold, hard truth of what you are." Gann will receive credit for 146 days served at Orient Road Jail since his arrest Oct. 14. He also must repay the woman, Foster said. After his incarceration, Gann will be under six months of community control and two years of probation, Foster said. Gann still faces a felony grand theft charge in St. Petersburg related to an unpaid loan of $1,500 from a real-estate agent who befriended him after he expressed an interest in high-end investments, officials said. In that instance, authorities say, he had passed himself off as an oncologist with degrees from Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities. Before Foster delivered the sentence, Assistant Public Defender Jason Isaac said Gann has a drug and alcohol addiction and has been diagnosed with depression and personality disorders. Gann could be a productive member of society if he had treatment to help "channel his talents and abilities," Isaac said. Gann has expressed remorse and "doesn't want to run from this anymore," Isaac said. Foster likened Gann's remorse to that of a mouse that says, "I don't want this cheese. Let me out of this trap." Assistant State Attorney Chinwe Fossett also was skeptical about Gann's appeal for treatment. "He could have gotten the help he wanted, perhaps with all the money he stole," she said. The charge for which Gann was sentenced involves him purporting to be a wealthy gynecologist after striking up an acquaintance with a woman he met on a Clearwater beach in July. They spent the night together, and he later took $750 from her during a scam in which he promised to help pay for her medical education if she first opened a bank account, prosecutors said. The woman did not appear in court today, but Tampa Police Department Detective Curtis Smith, who investigated the case, did. "He's fully aware of what he's doing," Smith said after the sentencing. "He's left a wake of havoc in people's lives." One of those people is Meredith Gavin of Albany, N.Y., who with Smith will tape an episode of Montel Williams' talk show next week about Gann. Gavin filed a report with Tampa police about Gann in 2003 after he told her and a friend he had sold a stem-cell research company for $6 billion and produced a letter on Fidelity Financial stationery as proof. Gavin and her friend bought him clothes, food and CDs and loaned him $130; then he stole the friend's cell phone, the police report states. Gann was not prosecuted. Since then, Gavin, who says Gann fathered her son, has put up a Web site warning others about him. The child turned 4 today, and Gavin said Gann's sentence was like a gift. "I am more emotional then I thought I would be," she wrote in an e-mail. "I am very happy with that outcome! I think more people will come forward now this judge has taken this case seriously." Gann has an identical twin brother, Simon, whose name he sometimes used as an alias, prosecutors said. Public records show Jordan Gann served two years in a Florida prison after pleading no contest in 2004 to a felony grand theft charge. In that case, Fossett said, Gann took off with a computer two Panama City Realtors purchased for him after he convinced them he was a doctor with several million dollars to invest in real estate. Fossett summarized police reports from across the country about Jordan Gann's activities, which Isaac said could have been committed by the twin. These included: •A Utah case where Gann, as a doctor, took a man he met at a bar shopping for cars. Gann purchased nothing but obtained keys to cars such as a Bentley, a Ferrari and a Lamborghini and signed seven sales contracts for expensive vehicles. •A New Hampshire case in 2000 where a woman let Gann stay with her at a Red Roof Inn after he told her he had nowhere to sleep. The next morning he was gone, along with $1,600 cash she had kept in her car. •A Pensacola case in 2004 where Gann, pretending to be a surgeon, told a bartender he wanted to invest $250,000 in the bar and showed as proof what he purported was his online banking balance. The bartender wound up loaning Gann $400 and paid $91 for new scrubs and shoes from a medical supply store after Gann told him, "I left my wallet in the car at the airport." •A Sarasota County case from September 2007 where Gann promised a woman he met through a mutual friend that he would buy her jewelry, expensive dresses and a home for her daughter. He borrowed $300 after saying he had lost his wallet and never repaid her. Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect name for Judge Robert A. Foster Jr.
Reporter Valerie Kalfrin can be reached at (813) 259-7800 or email@example.com.
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