Gold-trading playboy who used a ‘PoorGuysSuck’ hashtag when he flaunted his lavish lifestyle before going to jail reinvents himself as a charity worker
- Alex Mendieta Blanco resurfaces as charity head
- He was convicted of selling stolen jewelry
A playboy gold dealer jailed for buying stolen jewelry has tried to reinvent himself as a kind-hearted philanthropist.
Colombian-born Alejandro ‘Alex’ Mendieta Blanco was sent to prison in 2020 for four years after pleading guilty to purchasing stolen goods worth $29,000 from his CBD company, Gold Buyers Melbourne.
Blanco, 37, enjoyed first-class flights, parties with Australian celebrities and displays of lavish wealth as he ran the illegitimate gold-buying operation.
He also owned luxury boats and used the hashtag ‘PoorGuysSuck’ as he flaunted his overseas forays.
But Blanco, who is now believed to live in Spain, has resurfaced online, portraying himself as the head of a generous charitable organization.
Alejandro ‘Alex’ Mendieta Blanco was sent to prison in 2020 for four years after pleading guilty to buying stolen goods worth $29,000 from his CBD company, Gold Buyers Melbourne
Blanco enjoyed a lavish lifestyle while running the illegitimate gold buying operation
On his philanthropic website, Blanco describes himself as a “lifelong entrepreneur who is passionate about using his fortune to help people around the world.” Announce sun reported.
Blanco – who hired Delta Goodrem for his 30th birthday during the height of his wealth – has also ditched his last name and now calls himself Alex Mendieta.
“As a self-made businessman who built his fortune from the ground up, Alex Mendieta understands very well that not everyone can be so lucky,” the website reads.
“That’s why Alex has always been committed to helping marginalized and underprivileged communities address immediate issues and create lasting positive impact through his philanthropy.”
Donations from Blanco have reportedly been made to various charities, although not all of these organizations are disclosed.
Blanco (left) was originally charged with 450 counts of buying watches, rings, bracelets and other gold jewelry he knew was stolen
Blanco now describes himself as a ‘lifelong entrepreneur who is passionate about using his fortune to help people around the world’
An image on his site shows recipients of new bikes smiling as they stand behind a sign that reads ‘Thank you Mr Alex from GoldBuyers Melbourne’ – the same company that used the illegal profits to resell gold.
Blanco reportedly donated all proceeds from public speaking engagements between 2013 and 2016 to Clown Doctors, an Australian charity that provides entertainment and therapy to sick children in hospitals.
As part of the ‘Give a child a bicycle’ initiative, Blanco reportedly donated bicycles to underprivileged children in Vietnam.
It is not clear how much money he has donated to other charities.
Gold Buyers Australia was under investigation by detectives tracing the proceeds of a spate of armed robberies against jewelery shops and homes in 2017.
The jewelry—much of which was said to be of immense sentimental value—was melted down and resold.
He was originally charged with 450 counts of buying watches, rings, bracelets and other gold jewelry he knew were stolen between late August and early October 2017.
In six years, Alejandro, his brother Julio and employee Chey Tenenboim transformed their company into a multimillion-dollar empire that grossed more than $66 million in fiscal year 2015-2016, according to data obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Tenenboim was sentenced in 2020 to 12 months in prison followed by two years of community service, while Julio was sentenced to four months in prison, with two years of community service, including 200 hours of unpaid work.
Blanco moved to Australia alone at the age of 16, where he became a self-made millionaire.