A fugitive whom authorities have dubbed the Don Juan Con Man, a.k.a. Simon Gann, was arrested in Las Vegas this week and may be extradited to San Mateo County. He has been using the age-old trick-bag of good looks, charm, and bullshit to swindle women out of large and small sums of cash, and, naturally, he has a twin brother who does the same thing.
Gann, 32, has a talent for gambling, maybe even card counting, and lately he's been back and forth to Vegas where he's used multiple aliases and conned multiple women out of cash that he then gambles with, and steals. He was arrested in San Mateo County in 2010 for obtaining money under false pretenses, grand theft, and resisting arrest, after taking a woman for $1,900 before she turned him in. At the time he was posing as Saleem Dutante, a MIT graduate and math savant who had just purchased a multi-million dollar home in San Francisco, but was somehow stranded in Menlo Park and in need of a new passport. He was convicted but only served three months of his sixteen-month sentence before he jumped parole.
He spent the next couple of years traveling the country, pulling off more cons with women he typically meets in bars or coffee shops, and has returned several times to Vegas. Menlo Park police officer Felicia Byars has been playing a real-life game of Catch Me If You Can with Gann, with him occasionally contacting her to let her know he's still on the loose. Last Thursday, Las Vegas police responded to a battery call at a hotel, where they found Gann and discovered he was a fugitive. He had his first court appearance in Las Vegas Monday, and it's unclear if or when he may be extradited to California.
The greatest, most cinematic aspect to the tale is that his brother Jordan Gann, nicknamed the Romeo Robber, is serving five years in a Florida jail for posing as an oncologist and pulling off a similar scam.
Also, a New York woman has set up a website devoted to informing and warning other victims after one or the other of the twins (she believes she met both), got her pregnant and disappeared.
We know Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is already a film and a musical, and so is Catch Me If You Can. But maybe the Gann Twins are giving this con artist plot a new brotherly twist. Stay tuned for more if Gann actually ends up back in San Mateo County.