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Man Arrested in Cross Country Glam Scam


Authorities are reporting that Michael Manos, 46, has been tracked down and arrested in a San Francisco hotel room after scamming elite circles and businesses across the nation, including a scam in which he passed himself off as the disinherited gay son of a wealthy Greek businessman.

Despite humble beginnings, Manos was known by at least a dozen names and backstories in different cities, usually as a world-traveling trust fund baby. He was in prison from 1989 to 2004 on kidnapping charges, after which he surrounded himself with the rich and famous of New York City as Michael De Medici, a promoter with plans to do a reality TV show. In Atlanta he was a rich real estate investor and philanthropist connected with Jane Fonda.

Those who met Manos in Dallas would remember him as Mladen "Mordan" Stefanov, the gay son of a wealthy Greek businessman living in an uptown penthouse. The Dallas Morning News reports he fled Texas as people began looking into his background just two days after appearing at a red carpet event for a reality TV show he was to star in. As he's done before, he left with tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized purchases on a borrowed credit card and a stack of unpaid bills.

Manos has so many victims, a Facebook page was created to bring together resources to catch him. Reports of identity theft and fraud have flooded police stations in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas, with former business partners reporting that credit cards have been opened and maxed out in their names.

After his hasty departure from the Dallas high life, he was tracked by private investigator Darren McCulley to San Francisco and arrested January 20. Whether he was planning to leave his mark on this city as well is unknown, though he was found in possession of a forged California driver's license. He is being charged with forgery and with false impersonation, both felonies in California. Dallas officials say they will soon file charges related to credit card abuse and identity fraud.

Manos also faces a parole-violation extradition hearing to New York, where he served prison time after being convicted in 1989 of kidnapping, possession of stolen property, grand larceny, and robbery. He is also being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service after he was found with a Bulgarian driver's license he insists he was given permission to use.

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Ryan Holman