Career Casanova: Fort Lauderdale Police investigating South Florida felon known for breaking hearts and the law

(WSVN) - A South Florida felon known for breaking hearts and the law is being investigated — again. This time, a “bromance” is at the heart of the matter. 7’s Craig Stevens has our special assignment report, “Career Casanova.”

Frank Amanti was having an animated conversation with a sheriff’s deputy last month. He has had plenty of contact with law enforcement over the years.

Amanti’s arrests date back to the 1990s and include convictions for grand theft, worthless checks and felony battery. And now he is under investigation, again.

Thomas Sanders: “I loved him as a brother, yeah. I love all vets, I love all vets.”

Thomas Sanders, a Navy veteran, says Amanti told him he was a former Army Ranger.

Thomas Sanders: “That was his roll-in, to get to my heart strings, was that he was PTSD, OCD. He told me the wounds that he supposedly received, whether it was in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Somalia. Whatever it was.”

Thomas Sanders
Thomas Sanders

A picture of Amanti in uniform was posted on his Facebook page.

Records show he served in the Army as a cook in the mid-1980s, assigned to a company in Germany, but an Army official tells us, there is no indication Amanti was an Army Ranger or engaged in combat.

Thomas Sanders: “He claimed he got shot in his face, messed up a bunch of his teeth. That’s how he, if I can use the word, seduced me.”

The art of seduction, seems to be one of Amanti’s strong suits.

Nana Iosava, dated Amanti: “He wanted to marry me, since the day our meeting. He says, ‘You know what? I want to marry you.’ I said, ‘What?'”

As 7News first reported in 2014, Nana Iosava said her romance with Amanti left her more than $200,000 in debt after she bought him jewelry, a motorcycle, even co-signed on a lease for a Mercedes-Benz.

Nana Iosava
Nana Iosava

And she was not alone.

Woman in silhouette: “That’s what he does. He meets people online, and he gets to know them very quickly, and before they knew it, he’s out of their life and he’s left them high and dry.”

If Sanders had done an online search for the name “Frank Amanti,” our prior 7News investigation would have surfaced.

Instead, the former naval officer says he too, bought big ticket items with Amanti, during their brief friendship.

Thomas Sanders: “Including the Harley and the Mercedes, $160,000.”

Sanders has 600 pages of text messages in which he says Amanti promised to pay him back.

Thomas Sanders: “I think it’s perfectly clear in those texts that he realized he owed me this money.”

Authorities are investigating Amanti’s dealings with Sanders.

Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone
Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone

Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone: “There has been a fraud report made by the victim, and in fact, we are investigating all the details of the incident. The victim has listed Frank Amanti as the person of interest that he’s accusing of doing all the fraudulent activity.”

7News could not reach Amanti for comment, but police say these types of cases can be tough, because the person making the purchases is doing so willingly.

Sanders says he’s embarrassed and blames himself, but is using the experience as a cautionary tale.

Thomas Sanders: “I was supposed to meet him for a reason. Maybe to save another girl. I don’t know, but he won’t stop — apparently.”

If you think there’s something 7News should investigate, give us a call at 305-627-CLUE or 954-921-CLUE. You may also send an e-mail to clue@wsvn.com.

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