The Shah Was a Sham

A fake Irani prince leaves Denver victims feeling royally screwed.

The toothbrush scheme became more and more involved as the days went by. Before long, Patrik was scouting out real estate for his factory. According to Broemmel's friends, Patrik also talked Broemmel into selling him the LoDo Inn for $4 million; Patrik allegedly intended to make the first floor of the hotel into offices for the toothbrush concern. His servants would live on the second floor. And Patrik himself would live on the third.

By November, his friends say, Broemmel had agreed to sell Patrik the inn, and he closed the hotel. For a month, Patrik would be the only "paying" guest in the fourteen-room hotel. Broemmel had Patrik ensconced in suite #301, one of the priciest rooms at the inn. Under ordinary circumstances, guests could expect to pay from $140 to $200 a night for the suite.

Soon Broemmel began asking friends and business associates if they cared to get involved with Patrik's business deals. He called Denver realtor Steve Roesinger and asked if he'd be interested in meeting a new acquaintance who he thought would be buying some commercial property.

The elegant LoDo Inn became the pretend prince's rent-free headquarters.Lani Lee's, which sold Patrik thousands of dollars' worth of clothes, is moving on. Dixons became the unofficial office for the Shah wannabe.
Phung Huynh
The elegant LoDo Inn became the pretend prince's rent-free headquarters.Lani Lee's, which sold Patrik thousands of dollars' worth of clothes, is moving on. Dixons became the unofficial office for the Shah wannabe.
Ali Patrik Pahlavi
Ali Patrik Pahlavi

"[Patrik] wanted to build a manufacturing plant, so I met with him," says Roesinger. "I said, 'Yeah, I have several buildings I could show you, some land you could build on.' I asked him where the funding would come from. He said the money was coming from overseas. And I said, 'Well, get this money, and when it comes in, we'll get right on it and get the job done.'"

Roesinger did take Patrik around to see some properties. "He looked at various manufacturing plants, eight or ten around town, whatever ones were available," Roesinger says. "Some of them, I gave him the addresses, and he would go look at them. We looked at properties in the millions of dollars."

Roesinger tended to believe Patrik. "I'm old enough to remember the Shah of Iran, and he looked markedly like the Shah to me," Roesinger says. "I remember the years the Shah was a great friend to the United States, and I remember his face, and this man, to me, looked like him.

"He was a very believable man," Roesinger continues, "a very knowledgeable fellow. He knew a lot about airplanes, a substantial amount.

"He was an educated man. I could see where Mr. Broemmel would put his faith in him. When you're in business, you try to make business deals. You want to see those things work. Sometimes you invest in things and they don't work out."

Roesinger says he was "hopeful" -- but cautious -- about closing a real estate deal with Patrik.

"I pretty much kind of waited to see if the funds would be forthcoming from European banks," he says. "But it never worked out for him."

Roesinger was just one of several real estate people Patrik was stringing along. He approached realtor Dave Anderson of Financial Properties about buying not one, but two palatial homes in the foothills west of Denver.

"He implied he had an entourage of people who were coming over and moving here from Europe," Anderson says.

One home was on the market for $2.95 million. The other was listed at $2.35 million. The more expensive of the two houses is a 10,700-square-foot Mediterranean villa-type home that sits on a lavishly landscaped one-acre lot. The seven deck/patio areas are situated to take advantage of views of the gardens.

The home's stonework was done by masons brought from abroad specifically to work on that job, Anderson says, and it took a carpenter more than a year to finish the custom woodwork.

The second house, a modernistic one, is smaller. Just 9,000 square feet. It is perched on Lookout Mountain, where its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the lights of Denver.

Patrik went to see the homes a number of times and ingratiated himself with the owners.

"[Patrik] knew a lot about high-end antiques and art," Anderson says. "One of my sellers is very, very much into these things, and [Patrik] held his own in conversation. He implied he had some very expensive paintings.

"He talked about expensive art objects he owned. He suggested he would put expensive art objects in the house he was going to live in. He discussed these things in detail. Paintings, expensive carpets.

"He was very polished. He was able to talk about art objects and technical things. He had a fairly wide degree of knowledge."

Patrik asked that the closings on the homes occur quickly. He told Anderson that he was hoping to move in soon.

Anderson drew up sales contracts for the homes, and Patrik signed on the dotted line. He had a certain amount of time to come up with the earnest money.

Patrik had big plans for the homes. He offered a waitress at Dixons a job as a concierge at one of the houses. Her job would be to offer assistance to the members of European nobility who stopped in, Knowles says. "He said she could stay at the house, get room and board and $40,000 a year."

First, however, Patrik had to close. That was proving to be a problem.

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3 comments
jesigee
jesigee

let us know when you write the book because this man is somewhere in méxico doing whatever he wants

captain.haw.haw
captain.haw.haw

A great story on the imposter Ali Patrick Pahlav- a lot is missing I met him in 1992 when he defrauded Society General and Lansana Conteh- I have decided to write a book on him- and know one speaks about the Hundred million Dollars he nearly took from Boeing

 
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