South Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Impersonating a Member of the Saudi Royal Family
The Impersonation Scheme Involved Fake Diplomatic License Plates, Expensive Jewelry, Artwork, Wire Fraud, and International Trips
On May 25, 2018, Anthony Gignac, a/k/a “Khaled Al-Saud,” a/k/a “Khalid Al-Saud,” a/k/a “Khalid Bin Al-Saud,” a/k/a “Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Saud,” a/k/a “Sultan Bin Khalid Al Saud,” 47, of Miami, pled guilty to one count of impersonating a foreign diplomat or foreign government official, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 915, one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(1)(a), and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).
Defendant Gignac fraudulently assumed the identity of a member of the Saudi Royal family in order to build relationships worldwide, including in South Florida, receive gifts and conduct a large-scale scheme to defraud would-be investors.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Fred Stolper, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), made the announcement.
In June of 2015, Gignac and one of his co-conspirators created a fraudulent investment company, Marden Williams International LLC (“MWI”). MWI sought financial investments from individuals and businesses worldwide for purported business opportunities that did not in fact exist. As part of their efforts, Gignac and his co-conspirators falsely represented to potential financial investors that the defendant was a member of the Saudi Royal family and had exclusive business opportunities for them to invest in, because of the defendant’s royal status. One of the fraudulent investment schemes was purported to be a pre-initial private offering of a legitimate private Saudi Arabian business. One victim invested approximately $5,000,000 into the fraudulent scheme.
Beginning in March of 2017, Gignac presented himself as a member of the Saudi Royal family in an attempt to purchase a multi-million dollar hotel in Miami. Gignac stayed at the hotel using a credit card in the name of a member of the Saudi Royal family, without that individual’s authorization. When visiting the hotel, Gignac drove a Ferrari with diplomatic license plates.
Gignac also claimed ownership of a residence on Fisher Island and had a “Sultan” nameplate at the front door. He falsely told others that he had diplomatic immunity and was required to check in with the U.S. Department of State every few hours. Gignac was given gifts, including expensive paintings and jewelry, based on his false representations.
In addition, on November 19, 2017, Gignac flew into John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, from London, using a passport in the name of another individual.
As a result of this fraudulent scheme, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Gignac’s residence in Miami and discovered two fraudulent diplomatic license plates, a fraudulent DSS Special Agent badge, unauthorized credit cards and financial documents in the name of a member of the Saudi Royal family, ammunition, thousands of dollars in U.S. currency, jewelry and artwork.
According to the court record, Gignac had falsely claimed, in the past, to be a member of the Saudi Royal family.
The defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for impersonating a foreign diplomat or foreign government official, a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and a mandatory consecutive term of 2 years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge of conviction.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the DSS in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Trinity Jordan.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov