Fingered Prince

You can't keep a good con man down.

When those documents, complete with matching fingerprints, came, though, they showed that he'd been born Valliola Gnassemi-Dakdare, on January 22, 1946, in Tehran.

After Gnassemi-Dakdare was released from the INS facility earlier this year, he stuck closer to that name, going by Patrik Nassimi (sometimes Nassemi -- despite his big-time interests, he doesn't have business cards). But Nassimi shares many interests with Pahlavi. He likes expensive audio equipment and fancy cars, including Range Rovers and Mercedeses. In fact, he was at Murray Motors looking at a Mercedes when the sales manager got a call, warning against doing business with the man. "We've had no sightings lately," says Debbie Thompson. "Thank goodness."

Before she'd gotten that warning, Nassimi had taken a car for a test drive. He and one of Murray's salesmen had driven straight to the $5.75 million house near the Phipps Mansion that Nassimi had looked at the night before. He wanted to make sure a Mercedes 600 would fit in the garage, he'd told the realtor and a few others gathered there for the showing, including a stereo dealer who'd already caught on to the scam. "As soon as he walked in the door, I knew this guy wasn't for real," said another person there that night.

Nassimi was concerned about his Mercedes fitting, but he still needed a ride home -- to a not-very-nice apartment complex in southeast Denver, which didn't look like the sort of place a man who wanted to buy a $5.75 million house would be living. The people he'd taken with him to the showing -- his wife and daughter, he said -- didn't look like they belonged with him, either.

Assorted real estate offices around town now have the mug shot of Valliola Gnassemi-Dakdare, aka Ali Patrik Pahlavi, aka Patrik Nassimi, aka the con artist formerly known as Prince, posted on their walls.

Still, this man has shown an amazing ability to fool otherwise sensible people, including Broemmel. The con cost him his hotel; the LoDo Inn was sold in April 2001 to Luna Hotel LLC, which has turned it into the upscale Hotel Luna. And while he hasn't returned to that old haunt, Nassimi did call Dixons a few weeks ago. He got a cold reception. "We all hate him so much for what he did to Tom Broemmel that I don't think he'll come near us," says co-owner Lee Goodfriend.

The Denver District Attorney's Office hasn't heard from Pahlavi, who's on probation until July 2006, but it's starting to hear about him. "The economic-crime unit has received a couple of calls from people who either recognized him or recollected his adventures in Denver in 2001, and while they did not agree to do any business with him, they were concerned with what they thought were suspicious stories and business proposals," says Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the DA's office. "One involved buying a bunch of condos, one a privately designed electrical system. We've logged the calls and we've logged the concern, but there doesn't seem to be any criminal activity at this point."

All it takes is one successful con, though.

Everett was concerned enough about the would-be penthouse-dweller that she pulled his "wife" aside and asked where she'd met the man. On a bus, the woman replied.

The Mercedes must have been in the shop.

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