A Texas man who funded his lavish lifestyle of fancy cars, gourmet meals and yacht rides by scamming $1.5 million from unsuspecting victims claims he has socialite scammer Anna Delvey and famed ex-forger Frank Abagnale Jr. beat.
“My story might be more wild than theirs. I can almost guarantee it!” J. Nicholas Bryant told The Daily Beast.
Bryant, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, sometimes pretended to be an oil tycoon to scam more than 50 people in 2020 and 2021. He was responding from a jail cell to comments made by Northern Texas US Attorney Chad E. Meachum, comparing him to both notorious swindlers.
“Without the interference of our law enforcement partners, this defendant would be well on his way to becoming Lubbock’s Anna Delvey or Frank Abagnale,” said Meacham in a statement following Bryant’s Nov. 9 plea.
Bryant told The Daily Beast that while he thought it was “crazy they are comparing me to both” Sorokin and Abagnale — he believes he’s a better con artist than them.
Sorokin, whose exploits as a fake German heiress named Anna Delvey spawned the Netflix show “Inventing Anna,” ripped the comparison, saying “it’s bad faith and poor judgment for a prosecutor to use my name to try and make their own cases.”
“It shows that justice isn’t always judicial,” she added.
A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas declined comment.
Abagnale, whose exploits were chronicled in the 2002 hit film “Catch Me If You Can,” could not be reached for comment.
Bryant, who faces 20 years in jail, defrauded unsuspecting victims by booking luxury goods and services and then manipulating online payment platforms like QuickBooks and Veem to make it appear the payments were coming, according to prosecutors.
He used his cash windfall to bankroll a high life that included at least 17 private jet flights, high-end hotels visits, pricey steak dinners, yacht trips and the purchase of five luxury cars worth $500,000, the feds said.
Bryant also conned a developer to start building a home with a pool and workshop worth $980,000 — but never paid.
“I took private jets and stayed at the most expensive Airbnbs and hotels. Went deep sea fishing and toured everything that was possible,” said Bryant to The Daily Beast, alleging he has a lot of remorse over his actions. “I bought and drove five different high-end cars.”
“By far my most favorite trip was to [Turks] and Caicos. I spent two weeks on the island from fishing to sailing yachts. I stayed in a $30,000-a-night house. It was amazing.”