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Old 01-07-2019, 12:19 PM
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Default Black Con man scammed investors over $100K at swanky Manhattan parties

https://nypost.com/2019/01/06/con-ma...attan-parties/

Con man scammed investors over $100K at swanky Manhattan parties
By Rebecca Rosenberg and Sarah Trefethen
January 6, 2019 | 8:55pm



A suave Manhattan con man posed as the scion of a wealthy Jamaican family to scam a slew of investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, including through a scheme involving a Columbus Circle boutique hotel.

Ian Mitchell, 31, passed himself off as “Ian Matalon,” a relative of the wealthy Jamaican businessman Joseph Matalon. He claimed to be an investment banker, authorities said.

“He was good at what he did. He painted the picture well. What can I say? He got me,” said Brett Steigh, 44, a restaurateur in Rolling Hills, Calif., who gave him $44,000 to invest in January 2018.

“He would tell stories about how he was buying a $15 million house,” said Steigh, whose ex-girlfriend lived in The Continental, the luxury Midtown high-rise where Mitchell also lived.

In 2015, the dapper crook allegedly told three victims, including an Air Force veteran, that they could have an ownership interest in a new bar at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street if they ponied up $33,000 for a liquor license.

But Mitchell had no connection to any of the bars at the swank hotel and blew the cash on personal expenses, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

The veteran, who asked that The Post withhold his name, handed over $15,000, the bulk of his life savings.

“He’s a con man. He’s friendly and, you know, an a- -hole,” said the 35-year-old, who met Mitchell through a friend who also lost thousands of dollars.

Sources said Mitchell often met investors with his model girlfriend, Natasha Quiros.

Mitchell was photographed with Quiros at a tony Midtown celebration for Elle Decore’s Luxury issue in October 2016.

Mitchell’s most lucrative target was businessman Humberto Romero, of Yellowstone Medical Management Inc., whom authorities say he bilked out of more than $158,000 starting in 2016.

Mitchell told Romero that he ran a multimillion-dollar hedge fund called INC Capital and promised him a handsome return if he invested in the bogus company and other ventures.

“Ian discussed many times when we were together that he had clients that invested in the millions,” Romero, 45, wrote in an affidavit. “He was very persuasive.”

When Romero tried to pull out his money, Mitchell went dark. A background check revealed his real name and that the hedge fund never existed, so Romero called cops.

Suffolk County prosecutors say Mitchell spent Romero’s cash on student loans, credit cards, gym fees and a car lease.

On Aug. 16, 2017, he was arrested for grand larceny and released on $100,000 bond. He later pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Less than a year later, he was indicted in Manhattan on grand-larceny charges for the bar swindle.

He pleaded guilty in that case and agreed to pay full restitution in a no-jail plea deal — but while free on bail he allegedly swindled Steigh and another Manhattan investor out of more than $100,000.

Because he violated the terms of his plea deal, he was sentenced to a year in prison.

The second Manhattan case is pending.

His lawyer, Todd Spodek, said, “Mr. Mitchell has taken responsibility and has tried to make good on his financial commitments.”
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