Did this man scam millions out of Dillingham?
Over four years, Floyd Jay Mann Jr., 54, of Puyallup, Washington, scammed at least $2.7 million from 15 or more victims, mostly from Alaska. That’s according to an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court of Alaska, following a lengthy investigation by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.
Mann was arrested on Sept. 8 in Washington, then released to ankle monitoring a few days later. Federal investigators say the money was largely gambled away at a casino, though Mann racked up $1 million in winnings. If convicted on the federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering, Mann could be sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Most of the victims of Mann’s elaborate hoax are from Dillingham, Alaska. More than a dozen who “invested” in Mann’s scheme have been identified through conversations over several months with police, friends, family and associates of the victims, and speaking with several of the victims themselves. Federal investigators have not identified the victims, except one with whom Mann was frequently in phone contact, listed only as “P.D.”
The P.D. referred to is Peter Anthony DiMaggio of Anchorage or Palmer, who is now living with friends in Auburn, Washington. Mann’s connection to Dillingham was brother and sister John and Clara “Tookie” Wren, originally of Dillingham, who lived four doors down from the Manns on 148th Street Court East in Puyallup.
Who is Floyd Jay Mann?
The feds portray Mann as the mastermind of a shrewd, clever scheme that successfully bilked millions out of his willing victims over several years. His alleged con involved forged court documents, fictitious lawsuits and disease, and co-conspirators who helped mislead, encourage, or intimate his “investors.”
In reality, Mann, who goes by Jay, is a mechanic and auto painter by profession, originally from Duluth, Minnesota. His wife, Cheryl D. Mann, 51, has also been indicted on one charge of defrauding the Social Security Administration. They married in 1994 and raised four children in the suburbs on the south side of Puyallup.
“He’s an incredible guy, and a loving dad,” daughter Alisha Mann said. “He’s very trusting and wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Jay Mann worked in auto repair, detailing, and painting out of several locations around Puyallup. His daughter said he has not worked “in the trade for a while,” and that exposure to isocyanates had made him very ill. She professed to not know much about her father’s gambling habits.
“I guess we knew he got lucky once in a while at the casino,” she said.
That federal agents had searched her parents’ home and charged them both with federal crimes had come as a shock. Asked about Jay Mann’s connection to Dillingham, Alisha Mann pointed out that John and Tookie Wren had been neighbors and “really close friends” of the family.
John Wren, who died last year, was “friends with Peter DiMaggio,” she said.
“When Peter came into our lives we were in a very bad place. He would come around a lot. He didn’t have a good vibe about him,” she said.
Public records suggest Jay and Cheryl Mann had money problems for years. Numerous landlords, including the Pierce County Housing Authority, sought court-ordered evictions of the Manns more than a dozen times since the 1990s. One landlord, who asked not to be identified, said the couple “always had a good story” for why they could not pay rent, and had extensively damaged the property.
A few other creditors filed suit to claim small debts, and the state of Washington went after unpaid taxes on several occasions. Beyond that, Jay Mann has a few traffic tickets the local police department had trouble collecting on, and a 2002 charge for forgery of a prescription.