Chile Today

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Scam I Am

Patrik Nassimi, aka Ali Patrik Pahlavi and born Valliola Gnassemi-Dakdare, has had a very busy month. When last we caught up with this prince of thieves ("Fingered Prince," September 9), he'd failed to con his way into a few of the priciest units at the Beauvallon, including the penthouse, and then been foiled in his attempt to buy a $5.75 million house near the Phipps Mansion.

Still, even a fake Iranian prince -- the nephew of the late billionaire Shah of Iran, he'd told people when he first hit town four years ago -- has to live somewhere, right? So next he tried to worm his way into a $4.75 million house in Byers, even calling designers out to the property to talk about how they'd decorate the place for Nassimi and his alleged wife and teenage daughter. Perry Moss of Designs of the Interior, an interior-design studio/home furnishings store near Park Meadows, took a crew out to Byers, but realized something was funny the second Nassimi scoffed at making a down payment. Nassimi's mug shot in the September 9 Westword was another clue. So was a last call from Nassimi, saying that the Byers deal was off because the home's owner refused to sell the entire 2,000 acres of land around it. "He's got very expensive taste," Moss says of Nassimi, or whatever his name might be next week. "It was a great training exercise, and we kind of got a kick out of it."

But then, unlike several of the people Nassimi conned in suburban Washington, D.C., after his release from a German prison five years ago, and again in LoDo in the fall of 2000 before the Denver District Court finally sent him off to prison for another two years, Moss didn't lose much money in the process -- maybe the fifty bucks he spent on getting fabric samples. Even so, he called the Denver District Attorney's Office, which told him that Nassimi hadn't done anything against the law -- yet.

Nassimi still needed a place to call his own, so naturally, he next headed for one of Denver's most exclusive penthouses, a $3.5 million beauty on top of Riverfront. Steve Angelo, the owner of that property, was just getting off a plane when he heard from his realtor that someone was interested in the place, and since two previous deals had fallen through when the athletes involved were traded out of Denver, he hurried over for a walk-through. "I spent an hour and a half with this guy," he remembers. "He asked a lot of questions. He was really interested in my rugs, kind of flipping over them."

Angelo and the prospective buyer -- a foreigner who'd brought his wife and teenage daughter along -- went out on the deck, where Nassimi smoked a cigarette and took several calls about some custom Cadillacs, and suggested that he might be interested in also acquiring a loft Angelo had on the fifth floor.

Forty-five minutes after Nassimi and company finally left, the realtor called with the good news: Nassimi was interested in both places, was offering close to the combined asking prices, and wanted to move fast -- to sign papers the next morning, in fact. Angelo called his lawyer to get him started on the paperwork, then popped some champagne.

By nine the next day, he was ready to sign off on the deal. But there was some problem with escrow. After an hour and a half, "a lightbulb went off," Angelo remembers. He found a computer, googled a few key words about his buyer -- and "boom, this is the guy." And not only was Angelo out time and attorney's fees, but Nassimi had "been in my personal space, and really inquisitive as to access to the building," he remembers. "That really alarmed me."

So Angelo, too, called the Denver District Attorney's Office, which told him that Nassimi hadn't done anything against the law -- yet. After all, Angelo still had his penthouse. And this week, real people bought the two penthouses next door, for a record $600 a square foot. They'll make much better neighbors than a fake shah. "He's going to burn someone who can't afford to be burned," says Angelo. "I tried to get as proactive as I could."

So where will Patrik Nassimi land next? Prison, with any luck, for violating his probation. Someday soon there could be a jail cell with his name on it -- whatever that name might be. In the meantime, let the seller to this buyer beware.

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