Sabatino introduced Troop to a world of limos and Cristal that the youth had never known. As days gave way to weeks, the two became inseparable. Troop quit his cooking job, and Jimmy paid for some studio time. Every night was a fresh blur of clubs, South Beach hotel suites, and wads of hundreds that Sabatino seemingly pulled from the ether. (Sabatino almost aggressively declines to specify the source of the cash beyond saying, "There's just so much money in the music business.")

But as his affair with opulence deepened, so did a familiar fantasy. In late July, Sabatino suddenly announced that Roc Nation, the New York-based recording label behind Jay Z, had named him its "Executive Vice President." He updated his social-media profiles to reflect the abrupt hire. Then he created a fraudulent Roc Nation email address through godaddy.com and anointed himself the leader of its "Miami office."

On Facebook, he messaged random women in their early 20s, imploring them to hang out with him. "I'm telling you this is Roc Nation," he crooned at one. "We are on some shit here... Popping bottles and shit till 3-4. We got villas in one of the most exclusive hotels in South Beach. You staying the night? We'll come through in the limo and get you." This woman accepted his offer; most did not.

It took Jimmy Sabatino only four months to work his way back to prison, scamming tony South Beach hotels like this one.
Courtesy of Baby T
It took Jimmy Sabatino only four months to work his way back to prison, scamming tony South Beach hotels like this one.
His most recent mug shot in a life full of them.
Miami-Dade Corrections
His most recent mug shot in a life full of them.

From Nimes, Stanley Belot was closely monitoring his friend's behavior. "I see you will never change," he wrote his friend at 2 a.m. on August 9. "You still running them scams on people and hotels. When you going to stop that bullshit? You could be doing some legitimate shit, but no, you're still up to your old tricks."

Sabatino again ignored him, plunging deeper into the lifestyle. He mimicked Jay Z's wardrobe and assumed what became the Sabatino uniform: Adidas jumpsuit, chains, a pinkie ring, bracelets, and a series of very austere expressions. Bedecked in such accoutrements, he arrived one night in September at the Delano Hotel in South Beach with Troop for a Method Man concert. "I made Method Man," Sabatino yelled at Troop as they pushed their way inside. "He wouldn't be anywhere without me."

When Sabatino approached the hip-hop star, there was indeed a moment of recognition between the two, Troop says, and for several minutes, the two discussed their past. Sabatino snapped several photographs of the encounter, which he quickly uploaded to Instagram and contends substantiate his prominence in hip-hop.

Reached for comment, Method Man denied he met the con man. "I don't know who you're talking about," he wrote in an email from his screen name, pinkyphatphat. Pressed on the point, Method Man assures, "I don't know that nigga, 100 percent."


The lies were catching up with Sabatino. He was juggling too many hotels simultaneously, staying up too many hours, putting on weight. One night this summer, he met an urbane, sleekly dressed woman named Ebony White at the nightclub Bamboo in South Beach.

Sabatino, in white unlaced tennis shoes, trotted out his normal opening. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. Then he brandished an iPhone 5 and told her to Google him.

"It says you're a con man," she remembers telling him.

"Don't believe everything you read," he confided.

She found him utterly transparent. "He's like a black cloud without the rain. He said he was some kind of manager at Roc Nation, but when I Googled him, there wasn't any affiliation with them." But she also found him charming. There was a vulnerability about him that evoked tenderness in her. She went back to his suite, where he told her his mother was dead, and they had sex. "I did all the work," she says. "But it wasn't bad. I hadn't had sex in four months."

He told her he loved her. But then he did something odd. He granted her access to his Facebook account, which clearly showed scorned women deriding Sabatino for saying he loved them — and then disappearing. What bizarre behavior, White thought. Why would he claim to love her, then give her information proving he's a fraud? It was like he wanted to get caught.

Around that same time, a petite manager at South Beach's SLS hotel, Nicole Ormeno, was also beginning to suspect that the strange guest who said he worked for Viacom wasn't everything he appeared. After spending four days at a suite, during which he consumed $16,000 worth of goods, the man had just requested ten more nights, so she went upstairs for a chat. The suite was vacant, she found, except for keys to a nearby Eden Roc suite as well as a pawn shop receipt.

Ormeno, according to a police report, called an Eden Roc manager who said the same thing had happened there, except the mysterious man had said he worked for Warner Bros. Soon, after sleuthing on Google, Ormeno realized her guest wasn't "James Sabat," as he claimed — but con man Jimmy Sabatino. She called police.

At 11 p.m. on September 27, Miami Beach police arrested Sabatino at the Hilton Bentley. Inside the hotel room was a 17-year-old girl. "The female stated she had been living with [Sabatino] for approximately three weeks," the report states. "During this time, [Sabatino] and the female juvenile became engaged in sexual conduct (fellatio) one time only." Miami Beach Police asked to search Sabatino's phone. The con man, who claims he didn't know the girl was only 17, did them one better: He forked over his password. Police found nude pictures of the girl on the phone. "He stated the female was a friend, and would neither admit nor deny any sexual activity," their report says.

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3 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...........................................basically it's a story of the lack of SECURITY at these hotels who don't know who their guests are

Kimber Kirton
Kimber Kirton

You're giving this creep the attention he wants, bravo. He is not worth my time, especially seven pages worth of my time.

 
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