REDWOOD CITY (BCN) – A notorious con man was sentenced to 16 months in prison in San Mateo County Superior Court Friday morning for charges of grand theft and attempting to dissuade a witness, prosecutors said.

Simon Gann, 30, was accused of conning a Menlo Park woman out of $1,900 in August 2010, and pleaded no contest in December to the two felony charges, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.

Gann met the 32-year-old woman at a Starbucks. He allegedly gave her a false name and told her lies about being an MIT graduate, a math genius, and a savant card counter with a multi-million dollar home in San Francisco, according to the district attorney’s office.

Gann allegedly told the woman he’d lost his wallet, passport and identification in Los Angeles and she agreed to loan him $1,900.

The victim became suspicious of Gann’s stories so she searched his possessions and discovered an ID with his real name.

She also searched his name on the Internet and discovered that Gann and his identical twin brother have reportedly scammed women and men all over the country, according to the district attorney’s office.

She contacted Menlo Park police, who found Gann hiding in a closet.

Gann allegedly sent letters to the victim while in jail, trying to talk her out of testifying against him, prosecutors said.

The information the victim found on the Internet about Gann, his twin brother, and their alleged cons, may have come from one of the websites created by one of his alleged former victims, Meredith Gavin.

Gavin, a single mom in New York, fell victim to a scam very similar to the one Gann was sentenced for Friday, and has spent years trying to warn women and men about Gann and his twin brother Jordan.

“I feel relieved that she was smart enough to realize that something was off and had the sense to see if any info was out there about it,” Gavin said.

Gavin has tracked reports of their alleged scams across the country ever since she fell victim herself in August 2003.

Gavin was duped in Tampa, Fla., by one of the brothers – she’s still not entirely sure which one – and said that he is the father of her child.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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