Benjamin Gray Architecture
[Published 1-20-20/Updated 9-14-20] While investigating a scam reported to us by a woman in Florida we are calling “Celeste,” we discovered that her professional scammer has very likely been using other aliases and websites to scam other women. He has used the name “David Aapro” (Read: “I Love You, Bail Me Out“) in the first half of 2019 and then used “Anthony Fausberg” in the second half of 2019. (Read: “I Love You, Bail Me Out Again!“) We believe that this fraudster has also likely pretended to be “Benjamin Gray” and “Christian Smit” (see below) and a man called “David Jones Sigurdsson.” (Read our article about David Sigurdsson – it is interesting to see that David Sigurdsson’s website is nearly identical to the website for Benjamin Gray!) So we feel it is important to expose “Benjamin Gray” and his website http://benjamingrayarchitecture.com/ as a fraud, as well as Christian Smit and his website (see below). As always, we invite your comments. The information we report below is based on our investigation of the benjamingrayarchitecture.com website between December 20, 2019 and January 10, 2020. (Click on images to enlarge them.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: We believe that this professional scammer has found our website and has read the articles we have written about him. We have seen him learn from the mistakes we have pointed out and try to improve his scams. And so it is possible that he will see this article and make improvements. Nonetheless, we feel a responsibility to inform people about him based on these mistakes.
Benjamin Gray claims to be a professional architect who has been doing business for decades. And yet his website is FILLED with links that go nowhere or don’t work at all. His website is also filled with spelling, capitalization and grammatical errors, as well as awkward English. Take a look at the biography that Benjamin Gray posts about himself on his website. One would think that his web team would notice and correct that his last name is not capitalized in his own bio. (Also, look at the last paragraph of his bio. What professional talks like that? What professional marketing firm would write that?) Continue reading and you’ll see that his website misspells his name and address multiple times!
Benjamin Gray says that he was “won several awards” but doesn’t list the awards or who awarded him. If you search the American Institute of Architects website for Benjamin Gray, you’ll find no such architect listed, which seems odd for an award-winning architect who became the founder of his business in 1983! The top page of his website says “Benjamin Gray works across the globe, developing over 13 countries.” And yet, the American Institute of Architects found no one by that name in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) where Benjamin Gray says his work includes “over 49 million sq. ft. of residential and commercial space.” (It is worth noting that “Anthony Fausberg” also claims to have a residence in Dubai, AND that “David Aapro” claimed to be an architect. There are threads in all their stories that overlap which lead us to conclude that all three aliases were created by the same fraudster.)
Benjamin Gray claims to have founded his Architectural firm in 1983. Why, then, did he register his website in September, 2019? Also, the website name uses his “personal name” so why would he use a private proxy service in Panama to register that name for him? What’s the point in hiding who he is and where he registered his name UNLESS he is not whom he claims to be.
Check out some of the many errors and oddities on the “Contact Us” web page for Benjamin Gray Architecture, including the fact that both Mr. Gray’s name and address are misspelled! [UPDATE: January 23, 2020: We contacted a realtor who overseas the property at 415 Main Street, Roosevelt Island in New York. She told us “unofficially” that she did not know the name “Benjamin Gray” but could not officially confirm that information, presumably for reasons of privacy.]
Benjamin Gray has a Projects page on his website, showing 14 images of his projects and a “Read More” button to learn more about the work for each project. Except that NONE of these 14 “Read More” buttons work. They simply point back to the top of the Projects page.
Most importantly, Benjamin Gray claims that these are architectural projects he has designed in whole or part and he lists the project name along with location and completion date. Take, for example, this “Palm View” apartment complex (see below) that he claims to have designed in Haifa, Israel. If that is true, why were we able to find 39 instances of this photograph on TinEye.com, dating back as far as 2014? According to the first post on Tin Eye on December 7, 2014, this appears as an image of a resort located in Koh Samui, Thailand. Not an apartment complex in Haifa, Israel.
By the way, Celeste (the Florida woman targeted by “Anthony Fausberg”) sent us this screenshot after searching for images related to Anthony Fausberg. Apparently, Anthony Fausberg also claims to have built this beautiful villa because this photo was on his website… before he removed his website.
Next to that image above of the supposed “apartment complex in Haifa, Israel” is a project called “Villa Scovak.” Benjamin Gray claims that this villa was a residential project completed in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a complete lie! We found that exact image in Crete, Greece. The image actually shows the vacation villas found in the village of Kalamaki on the island of Crete in Greece. Visit the Villa Avra website to see for yourself and forward to the very last image listed at the top of the website!
Take a look at this beautiful residence that Benjamin Gray claims to have designed in Dubai, United Arab Emerites that was completed in 2017/18. This is also a lie. The image is of a villa located in Benahavis, Spain near the southern coast. We found it for sale on the Terameridiana.com website on January 20, 2020. (See second image of the top images.)
There is so much more about the Benjamin Gray Architecture website that smacks of fraud and deceit but we believe we’ve proved our point. Let’s move on to some of the other names we have found associated with David Aapro & Anthony Gray to see if they pass the “smell test.”
Smit Construction and Solar Energy Company, Canada
In previous articles we have documented fake names and companies associated with the name Anthony Fausberg, Benjamin Gray (Grey) and David Aapro. While researching “Anthony Fausberg” we came across other names and websites connected to him that also appear to be fake businesses and aliases likely used by the same scammer. One such name and business we found is “Christian Smit” of “Smit Construction and Solar Energy Company” in Canada. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)
We found Christian Smit while searching LinkedIn for Anthony Fausberg….
The Christian Smit Construction & Solar Energy website is available online as of April 20, 2020. It was registered on July 24, 2019 through a private proxy service. All in all, it is a pretty poor business website and contains many things that simply don’t add up.
For example, In at least 2 locations on Christian Smit’s website it says that his business was founded in 2006. Why then was his website only first registered in 2019? And why register it anonymously instead of registering it to the very business it claims to represent?
If you click on the “Our Team” page of Christian Smit’s website OR the “Contact” page, both pull up the same webpage with 1 photo of Mr. Smit. Notice, too, at the bottom of this webpage that it says “copyright symbol 2016” which is odd for a business that was founded in 2006. Did someone mistype 2016 for 2006?
We did find Christian Smit on LinkedIn. On January 4, when first started digging, his LinkedIn account had all of 11 connections! He also said that he was an architect for “Fausberg, Inc” and we have already proved that Anthony Fausberg of Fausberg, Inc. is a fraud in our article “I Love You, Bail Me Out AGAIN!”
Christian Smit’s website lists their business address as 3501 Rue Jean-Talon O, Montréal, QC, Canada and they even show a Google pin with their name on it. However when we visited Google Maps and asked it about this address, it did not associate the Christian Smit Construction & Energy Solutions business with that address at all! In fact, a general Google search for this address tells us that another VERY SUSPICIOUS construction website owned by “Scott Millerson” called “Millerson Construction” is located at this physical address. It has not gone unnoticed that all of these fraudulent and suspicious businesses are all in the construction and solar energy industry!
Finally, if you were to visit the Smit Construction & Solar Energy website, you will find many photos on their site that are presumed to be photos of jobs that this company has completed. However, in almost every single image search we conducted of the photos on their website, we found those same images all over the Internet, including on stock photo websites. Below are just two examples.
All told, there is NOTHING about Christian Smit Construction & Solar Energy that holds any legitimacy at all. The entire site appears to be fake. And there is no other website anywhere on the Internet that knows anything about this website. Stay away!