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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26 comments
efraim_acosta
efraim_acosta

I knew jimmy in Brooklyn back when he was around 15yo, I remember him to be a little scammer back then, I could tell he did it for the right reasons, but it didn't work out for him then. He just put up his front to make friends. I felt bad for the kid but we stopped hanging out with him. I see it escalated from there. SMH

SoFla
SoFla

Didnt this kid get punked in jail in Passaic County and isnt his father "Fat Pete" a South Florida rat? These two are a joke

SoFla
SoFla

Waste of time writing about a jailhouse snitch who got punked in Passaic County jail and whos father is a South Florida rat !!! Good ole "fat pete" the familys a joke lets get real and erase these punks from the internet> 

tiredofthebull
tiredofthebull

this kid is from a family of rats his fathers in south florida 25 years a purported mafia big wig. A big rat in the 25 years hes been in south florida he's never had so much as a tap on the shoulder from any law enforcement agency despite being in the middle of many mob related events. Not to mention his right hand man Reynold Maragni who he ran around with for several years became a rat and not so much as a glance was thrown his way. Its a joke and its quite obvious the mans an informant

someguyontheinternet
someguyontheinternet

Interesting article. But I think Philips is misspelled, it only has one l. I also would like some insight as to why the whole thing happened. It occurs to me that If Henchman had a heads up on Philips story as Philips said in the Voice article,he gave Henchman in order to comment, then Henchman could have had the guys who did the hit type up a document with enough details that he had heard many times to set Philips. In this scenario, they'd have  up by having Sabatino call with Philips about documents. Sabatino had a credible history of providing documents for a lawsuit in which Sabatino was a plaintiff previously. Or Dexter and company could have written the document to shake down Henchman, who then saw it as an opportunity to screw up Philips story. (Philips gave Henchman a chance to comment on the article pre-publication) so he said in the Voice article. The Miami Times article is interesting but seems to be silent on the why of the whole thing - any thoughts?


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..........................and all this matters how ?

actually one issue is lack of security at south beach hotels IF they do not know the real identity of their "guests" then how could ANY visitor feel secure in that hotel ?

how does someone order $100,000 of champagne without the hotel arranging and securing proper payment ? ...............where is management ? ........................where are the appropriate accounting and internal control functions ?....................maybe the whole place is a scam

otherwise, ANYONE can think these things up,  just that most don't want to waste away in prison for years just for a few party nights trying to prove to be someone they are not - who cares - a week from today this guy will be totally forgotten about

Francisco Soler
Francisco Soler

Your stories are so entertaining! You guys should partner up with Michael Bay for the long term....

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

"It took Jimmy Sabatino only four months to work his way back to prison, scamming tony South Beach hotels like this one."

LOL, not that I condone scamming per se, but South Beach hotels and other establishments hardly rate sympathy for what they charge anyone that becomes a victim in that community ?

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

There is no 183 avenue. A typo, but please fix it. Show you care about the reader. Thank you.

adolfojherrera
adolfojherrera

Who the hell cares? This is just another slug from an infestation of slugs in this city. Line him up next to every member of the L.B.A., every member of the county commission, and Miami city commission, George Perez, and all the other con artists and crooks in this friggin swamp and light them on fire. Miami's only hope is a two mile high tsunami. Maybe whomever tries again may do it right and not let this third world shantytown proliferate.

Monica Matteo-Salinas
Monica Matteo-Salinas

I feel sorry for him, in a way. Probably blames himself for his mom's abandonment. Therapy would do him good.

Bill Cooke
Bill Cooke

...and now he's going back to prison for long time.

Hugh
Hugh

The reporter needs to learn his northwest Miami-Dade geography.  NW 183rd Avenue in the beginning of the article is about 90 blocks west of Miami Lakes if there was development out that far.  In the latter part of the article it states NW 183rd Street "in Miami Lakes" in another stupid mistake because it's at least 13 blocks north of the western side of Miami Lakes and 16 blocks north of the east side of Miami Lakes.  Carol City is closer to the area than Miami Lakes so one could call it "Carol City West."

Stan
Stan

This guy is a relative dope and managed to pull this off...imagine how much crap Wall Street and the gov't are getting away with.

DavidDennis
DavidDennis

Wow, New Times reporting is really first-class nowadays.  Great story!

Cathy
Cathy

Terry, great job. What a tale. 

Louis Wing
Louis Wing

WOW - that guy is good. He uses it for all the wrong reasons, but he's good.

chuck.strouse
chuck.strouse moderator editor

@Hugh We fixed and will correct in print. Sorry for the error.

Rational
Rational

AND WHOOO THE EFF CARES....JESUS......

HughJar
HughJar

@Rational   If the reporter makes stupid mistakes like where the kid lived then who knows how many more mistakes he made in the rest of article.  Maybe an a-hole like you doesn't care but some of us do.

 
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