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Video: Charges filed against man claiming to be Michael Jackson's nephew

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Updated: 4/25/2013 2:29 pm
KISSIMMEE,Fla. (WFTV) -- A local man who claimed to be Michael Jackson's nephew is now facing criminal charges.

Action 9 first exposed Gepetto Jackson two months ago after a dozen people said he was a fake celebrity who cheated them out of their life savings.

The arrest has not stopped Jackson from contacting victims who may never get their money back.

The suspect appeared in photo shoots as "Gepetto Jackson of the Jackson family" and in music videos, but his latest picture is a mug shot booked under his real name, Andre Vann.

Vann has since been charged with grand theft.

The victim in that case wants to remain anonymous.

"Who did you think he was?" asked Action 9's Todd Ulrich.

"I thought he was the son of Michael Jackson's brother," the victim said.

The woman went to Kissimmee police after an Action 9 investigation uncovered 12 people who claimed Vann used his fake celebrity to con them.

One woman said Vann promised her a job but first she had to buy $3,000 in office supplies.

"He was supposed to write a contract, and I never received the contract," said the victim.

Kissimmee police filed the grand theft charge but other victims can't understand why their cases went nowhere.

Kristina Kienholz said Vann cheated her out of $70,000, and Brandy Bernt and her parents lost $140,000.

"Just make it right and stop scamming people," said Bernt.

As part of the arrest, Vann was ordered to stay off Facebook, where he first reached his victims.

But Francisco Velazquez said "Gepetto" still contacts him after he took $4,000 as contract fees and promised Velazquez a career as a painter.

"He's stealing money from people who really work hard," said Velazquez.

Velazquez' parents borrowed the money to pay Vann and are now scrambling to pay bills.

"We sold some of our furniture just to pay the rent," said Velazquez.

By phone, Vann told Action 9 he gave some people partial refunds over contract disputes and didn't mislead anyone.

Kissimmee police said if other victims come forward they will review their cases.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

ITWORKS - 9/13/2013 3:21 AM
0 Votes
He tried to tell me that I needed to pay 5k up front in order to be signed by an agent. I went to my friend who is a lawyer and he that is a scam and he still has a facebook page that he is actively using and getting more victims.

sheila came - 4/30/2013 12:58 AM
0 Votes
Would like to know how I can get my story to you people up there. I have evidence on this man via Facebook and money order recipts. I met him oin May 2012, He conned me and my brother out of almost 10,000 dollars. May 20,2012 he claimed to have contracts for me to sign for a clothing line. Let's just say I went to Orlando that night I saw no contracts. I was sexually assulted by this person Orlando P.d did not let me make any statement.Even for the money he took from us we have no way of paying for a lawyer to fight him. Please send info on how I can reach the proper authorities .I live in Port Charlotte FL.
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