Curious Detail That Didn’t Make Kurt Eichenwald’s Story

By now perhaps you’ve read Kurt’s story in our January issue. It’s good stuff. But it’s not the whole story. Just as we were going to press, Kurt called with a detail we couldn’t squeeze into the print version. Jump for the tale:

The flimflam man in our story goes by the name of Jim Flaven. After he conned Henry S. Miller into putting together a $100 million real estate deal that he could never have financed — and which, consequently, blew up — Flaven vanished. But Kurt, even after he filed his story, kept trying to track the guy down, ask Flaven his side. Kurt left messages at every known number for Flaven, mostly on the East Coast.

Then, just as we were sending our story to the printer, Jim Flaven’s cell number showed up on Kurt’s caller ID. Here’s the gist of conversation, as Kurt reported it:

CALLER: “Hi, I’m Jim Flaven’s brother. I’ve got his phone and see that you’ve called and left messages for him. Jim has had a breakdown and has been institutionalized, with no access to a phone. So I was calling to see what you wanted.”

KURT: “My name’s Kurt Eichenwald, and I’m working on a story for D Magazine about your brother and a bogus real estate deal he was involved with in Dallas.”


KURT: “Listen, this is a bad time for me. Can I call you back? What did you say your name was?”

CALLER: “Brian Flaven.”

So Kurt hangs up and tracks down Brian Flaven’s unlisted home number. He gets Brian on the phone.

KURT: “Brian, this is Kurt Eichenwald. I’m a writer in Dallas. Have I ever talked to you before?”

BRIAN: “Um, no. Why do you ask?”

KURT: “Because someone claiming to be you called me from your brother Jim’s cellphone.”

BRIAN: [after a pause] “We disowned him a long time ago.”

Anyway, as I say, it’s a great story. Check out the full version, if you haven’t already.


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7 responses to “Curious Detail That Didn’t Make Kurt Eichenwald’s Story”

  1. Mary says:

    Check out this myspace profile for “Jude Giblin”… kinda strange:

  2. Lucas says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much trouble this man caused in Mayfield as well. Going to countless businesses in the area to purchase products or the businesses themselves. He is so so damn good at what he does (lying) that you want to believe him. He caused alot of trouble for everyone including my family. He was supposedly engaged to a woman in the area who bragged about his money and buying homes and businesses. She is a nurse at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam, NY. I could try and find out her name if it could further help getting this guy in jail.

  3. Brenda says:

    I am the nurse who was accused in the above statement of being engaged to Flaven, which is not true. He caused my family just as much grief as the rest of “mayfield”. You are not alone, Lucas…

  4. Brenda says:

    One more detail….about “bragging” about his money, it was the people he contacted in Mayfield who backed Jim in his belief of millions…he lied to everyone in town, including ME…so please only carry on the truth of the story and leave me out of it…

  5. John Doe says:

    Where did my comment go?

  6. John Doe says:

    I posted a very long comment about the TRUTH about Flaven and Brenda! I want to know who deleted it Kurt!

  7. Lucas says:


    I missed a couple words in there. I never meant to put you in the light of the story. I understand you were conned just like the rest of us. It is such an unfortunate thing. I’d like to know how this man sleeps at night, he is undoubtedly a compulsive liar and needs mental help. I am truly sorry you and your family had to be involved with him.
    I think I might also have an idea of who “John Doe” might be; very creative Jim. I hope I get the chance to see Jim in person again someday and personally let him know how I feel about him….I can only dream of the chance.