The Shah Was a Sham

A fake Irani prince leaves Denver victims feeling royally screwed.

"He said a very substantial amount of money was being wired in," Anderson says. "He said the money was coming. We heard that a lot."

When the money failed to arrive, the sales contracts expired. Still, Patrik kept saying he planned to buy the houses.

Anderson, who has spent more than 27 years in the real estate business, began asking questions when the money didn't show up. "I know international transactions," he says. "We asked for verification, and those verifications were not granted. I asked him to refer me to someone to call, an officer at a bank, to verify that these funds exist. That was denied. Basically, he refused to provide any information. That was a big red flag.

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

"By the time it got to that point, the earnest money had been delayed for quite some time.

"He kept us on ice from mid-October until early December. He still kept saying the money was coming."

Patrik told Broemmel the same thing whenever the innkeeper would ask to be reimbursed for the ever-escalating hotel bill. "The money is coming." He always seemed to find a way to change the subject.

In November, Patrik proposed that he, Broemmel and Broemmel's wife go to South Africa, where he was building a big manufacturing plant. He said he had a private jet out at DIA. For one reason or another, however, the trip had to be put off time and again.

By then, Broemmel was in deep. Patrik reportedly had talked him into buying a computer costing more than $10,000, saying they'd need it for their business ventures. He'd closed his hotel. He'd introduced Patrik to people all around town, and Patrik had snookered them, too. According to a source, one local lawyer quit his practice in the belief that he was going to work for Patrik as a corporate attorney.

Even worse, friends say, Broemmel convinced his daughter and her family to close their business and move out to Colorado from the Northwest. Sources say Broemmel's daughter became infatuated with the faux prince and threw her husband out. Staffers at Dixons began referring to Patrik as "Prince Homewrecker."

Still, Broemmel continued to believe. He was one of the few who did.

"We thought we would wake up one day and he'd be gone," Knowles says. "It just didn't make any sense."

"I know that, to me, Tom really cared about this guy," Goodfriend says. "He kept hoping it wasn't true [that Patrik was a fraud.]"

Evergreen realtor DeWitt Petty can be credited with bringing Patrik's spending spree to a halt.

Petty had been waiting for word of a sale on the $2.95 million home near Evergreen. He knew that Anderson's listing agreement on the property had expired, and he was hoping to convince the owner to allow him to list it with his company.

When he contacted the homeowner, however, she informed him that the house was being sold to a nephew of the Shah of Iran. "She was under the assumption that [Patrik] was trying to transfer money from outside of the country," Petty said. "He had come through the house a number of times with an entourage of people. He told her that he not only wanted to buy the house, he wanted to buy the furnishings and paintings. She fell for it hook, line and sinker."

Petty, however, was not convinced.

"This transaction had been going on for many months," Petty says. "A wire transfer, even from overseas, can be done in a day. I began to smell a rat."

On December 1, Petty touched base with a friend, a realtor in the Washington, D.C., area who sells high-end homes and does a lot of work with the Iranian community. Petty thought his friend might know something about the Pahlavi family.

"I told him, 'We've got something very strange going on,'" Anderson says. "I told him about it, and he started laughing. He said he thought he might know who this guy was." The D.C. realtor then related what he'd heard about Patrik's visit to his town.

Petty told the homeowner that he believed Patrik was a fraud.

By this time, even Broemmel was concerned about Patrik's real identity. According to Petty, Broemmel called the Evergreen homeowner for information, and she, in turn, suggested that he contact Petty. "She told him, 'DeWitt may know more about this man than you do,'" Petty says.

Broemmel supplied Petty with a photograph of Patrik, which Petty then e-mailed to his Washington, D.C.-based pal. His friend confirmed that the same man had been accused of defrauding folks back East.

There was no going back for Broemmel. He contacted Denver police.

Late on the afternoon of December 4, Broemmel went to Patrik's suite at the inn and asked him for money to pay the hotel bill. A Denver police officer and a DA's investigator were listening in. According to a police report, Pahlavi promised to pay "later." He did not say when. They stepped in and arrested him.

Broemmel would later tell friends that he was "devastated" by having to have Patrik arrested.

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

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


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