How a fake Saudi prince allegedly swindled Turnberry’s Jeffrey Soffer

Developer gave conman $150K in gifts

TRD MIAMI /
Oct.October 09, 2018 01:30 PM

Jeffrey Soffer, Fontainebleau, Anthony Enrique Gignac, and a plate of prosciutto

Turnberry Associates developer Jeffrey Soffer thought he had an offer from the prince of Saudi Arabia to buy the Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2017 for $140 million more than what it was worth.

Negotiations spanned for months, as Soffer allegedly wined and dined the supposed prince and bought him a Cartier bracelet worth $50,000, along with expensive artwork to court his investment, according to Vanity Fair.  In total, he gave the prince $150,000 in gifts.

But the deal ultimately turned out to be an allegedly elaborate scam perpetrated by a Colombian-born convicted con man named Anthony Enrique Gignac, Vanity Fair reported.

According to the report, Soffer first got a call from a London-based investment banker who said she represented Saudi Prince Khalid bin al-Saud on March 24, 2017. The prince allegedly told Soffer that he was in “a direct line to the throne.”

Soffer later flew the prince to Aspen on his private jet. In Aspen, Gignac stayed at the St. Regis hotel and spent time at Soffer’s Aspen home, once owned by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, that is now on the market for $29.5 million.

The prince’s elaborate hoax was uncovered when Soffer noticed that the prince ordered prosciutto (pork is forbidden under the Koran) as an appetizer while out to dinner with the Soffer family in Aspen, Vanity Fair reported.

The Fontainebleau’s security team then began investigating the prince, and the prince was eventually arrested at JFK airport in New York City in November 2017 when he presented a fake passport. [Vanity Fair] — Keith Larsen


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Masoud Shojaee and a rendering of Shoma Village 

Shoma Group scores $67M loan for mixed-use Hialeah project

Shoma Group scores $67M loan for mixed-use Hialeah project
Jeffrey Soffer with the Fontainebleau and Michael Dell with the Boca Raton Resort & Club

Soffer’s Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Dell’s Boca Resort lay off thousands

Soffer’s Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Dell’s Boca Resort lay off thousands
Housing Trust Group CEO and president Matt Rieger and Hudson Village renderings

HTG scores financing for Hollywood affordable housing project

HTG scores financing for Hollywood affordable housing project
Jim Cohen, Fontainebleau Development’s president of Residential, and Jeffrey Soffer, with SeaGlass Jupiter

Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Development launches sales of Jupiter Island luxury condos

Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Development launches sales of Jupiter Island luxury condos
 Rendering of Father Marquess-Barry Apartments with Matt Rieger

HTG scores financing for senior affordable housing in Overtown

HTG scores financing for senior affordable housing in Overtown
From left: Jeff Soffer, Brian Kingston of Brookfield Property Partners, Brett Mufson and Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood

Jeffrey Soffer’s $800M Diplomat resort purchase called off

Jeffrey Soffer’s $800M Diplomat resort purchase called off
Fortune International Group’s Edgardo Defortuna, Château Group’s Manuel Grosskopf and a rendering of the project

Fortune and Château score $119M refi for Sunny Isles condo project

Fortune and Château score $119M refi for Sunny Isles condo project
Melissa Rose and Brett Mufson

Movers & Shakers: Ackman-Ziff managing director heads to JLL & more

Movers & Shakers: Ackman-Ziff managing director heads to JLL & more
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...