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Hard-up Astoria ‘sultan’ bilked $ from women: DA

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He told them he was a sultan with a cash flow problem, claiming to be a member of the Kuwaiti royal family whose $10 million fortune was stuck overseas, authorities say.

That’s how Benjamin Maybanks allegedly hit up two women for tens of thousands of dollars and fancy furnishings for his Astoria apartment, according to the authorities.

But now the supposed sultan is telling his story to a judge.

Maybanks, 39, was arraigned April 23 on two counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Maybanks, of 30-54 12th St., allegedly told two women in the past 10 months that he was a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, the son of the prime minister and a neurosurgeon, the DA said.

But Maybanks, who legally changed his name to Sultan Ibn Chandler Sabah Al Sabah Dantata, claimed he could not access his $10 million nest egg because the world situation prevented him from transferring money from abroad or using his apartment at the United Nations, Morgenthau said.

One woman gave Maybanks $60,000, which she borrowed on her credit cards, while he allegedly stole $5,000 from the second woman, Morgenthau said.

Both also gave him expensive items to help furnish his Astoria apartment, which he claimed was only a temporary residence.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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