A 48-year-old Miami con artist was sentenced on Friday to 18 years in prison for swindling millions of dollars from investors while posing as a Saudi king.
Anthony Gignac, who reportedly had a history of mental illness during his childhood, spent most of his life claiming to be among the rich and famous in Saudi royal society.
During that time, he conducted multiple scams targeted at members of the royal family and boasted about his wealth on his social media accounts.
Gignac had everything he could have wanted, including a private jet and a Chihuahua named Foxy.
But prosecutors say that Gignac’s claims of being a wealthy sheikh were false, and called him a “mastermind” of criminal activity without showing remorse to those whose financial plans were ruined, the Miami Herald reported.
Gignac is suspected of having fraudulently collected more than $8 million from investors as far away as South Fl0rida and England to live in the lap of luxury.
“I am not a monster,” he told the courtroom at his Friday hearing.
Gignac hails from Bogota, Colombia but has U.S. citizenship. He came to the U.S. with his brother after their parents abandoned them. A Michigan family adopted them and claimed the children suffered child abuse.
The suspect has been arrested 11 times over 30 years, and he began his criminal empire in 1987 when he obtained a fake ID known as Khalid al-Saud.
Gignac was on trial for two years before the judge handed down his 18-year-and-a-half sentence. His display of wealth documented on Instagram and other social media accounts will be auctioned off to pay the 26 people victimized through his schemes.