A man who posed as an oil baron’s son to hire 17 private jets, rent $30,000-a-night luxury homes and buy five cars has been caught after failing to pay $76,000 to a jet firm.
Nicholas Bryant, 23, stole an estimated $1.5million and scammed at least 50 people in the elaborate scheme that involved booking goods and services and then sending fake payments through online payment platforms.
On November 9 Bryant pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and is now awaiting sentencing, where he faces up to 20 years in prison.
In his first time speaking out about his swindling spree, Bryant told The Daily Beast via text messages and a phone call from Lubbock County Detention Center the allegations against him ‘are pretty much true.’
‘I took private jets and stayed at the most expensive Airbnbs and hotels. Went deep sea fishing and toured everything that was possible,’ he said noting that he had a lot of remorse over his actions.
‘I bought and drove five different high-end cars. By far my most favorite trip was to [Turks] and Caicos.
‘I spent two weeks on the island from fishing to sailing yachts. I stayed in a $30,000-a-night house. It was amazing.’
Social media posts from the time depicted Bryant riding private jets stocked with vodka, enjoying steak dinners on yachts, and lounging in five-star hotel rooms.
The 26-year-old has admitted that between 2020 and 2021, he would use online platforms like QuickBooks to send payment confirmations without ever intending to pay up.
It would take days, however, before vendors and businesses would learn that Bryant had canceled that transaction before the money was sent through.
Nicholas Bryant, 23, stole an estimated $1.5million and scammed at least 50 people in the elaborate scheme
He was caught when a jet firm came after $76k that Bryant had owed them after a trip with his friends to Miami
By then, Bryant said he had already enjoyed the jet ride or the lavish excursion and vanished.
Bryant assumed various fake names and backgrounds to add legitimacy to his scheme.
Most of the time he would say that he ‘was the son [of an] oil tycoon.’
Bryant also convinced at least one company that he had a ‘secretary’ who was handling his finances and wiring the money, which turned out to be false.
‘I knew how to play the part,’ Bryant said.
Prosecutors say, Bryant took at least 17 private jet flights, stayed in numerous high-end hotels, spent half a day on a 90-foot yacht with friends where he demanded a steak and champagne dinner, and obtained five luxury cars worth $500,000.
Bryant also convinced a developer to start building a home with a pool and workshop worth $980,000 and never paid.
‘This defendant would be well on his way to becoming Lubbock’s Anna Delvey [Sorokin] or Frank Abagnale,’ U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham said in a statement about Bryant’s plea.
Bryant said that he thought it was ‘crazy they are comparing [him] to both’ Sorokin and Abagnale saying he has them beat.
‘My story might be more wild than theirs! I can almost guarantee it!,’ he said.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas declined to comment on the case, noting that Bryant’s sentencing was still pending. Bryant’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2013, mrt reported that Bryant was arrested on a forgery of a financial instrument charge. It was not clear what became of the case.
By 2019 Bryant appeared to have run into money troubles. Lubbock Judge Jim Hansen, who is the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, told The Daily Beast that during that year his office received at least two cases in connection with Bryant, an eviction and debt case from the Texas Tech Federal Credit Union.
The 26-year-old admitted that between 2020 and 2021, he would use online platforms like QuickBooks to send payment confirmations without ever intending to pay up
That July, the bank filed a debt claim noting that Bryant had a ‘negative checking account’ and was seeking damages of about $571.86. The case was eventually dismissed.
A few months later on October 24 2019 Bryant’s luxury apartment complex filed an eviction proceeding against him for ‘failing to pay first month’s rent’ and owing more than $1,400.
Hanson ruled in the apartment’s favor, ordering that Bryant leave the unit and pay back ‘costs in the amount of $116.00, back rent in the amount of $1494.53, with interest at the rate of 5.25 percent compounded annually.’
By the end of 2019, Eggemeyer said that he returned home and was looking for work during the off-season—and reached out to Bryant about potentially working with him in the oil industry.
Bryant has shown some remorse in regard to his friend Hayden Eggemeyer who he admits was a victim of his crimes.
While he did not go into detail about the scam, Bryant said that…