Just less than a year ago, The Paper Version of Unfair Park recounted the story of Michael Manos, an ex-con from Poughkeepsie who jumped parole and started a series of more glamorous new lives, under a series of unlikely assumed names, from Houston to Atlanta to, eventually, Dallas, running all the while from business associates and friends who say he burned them along the way.
On the phone from jail in his hometown last year -- before settling into his upstate home-for-a-year -- Manos didn't sound concerned about any other charges that might be waiting for him in other cities. He was working on his book, he said, looking forward to being back in Dallas in time for the Super Bowl.
And while he made it back in time, he spent his Super Bowl weekend in Lew Sterrett, awaiting trial on three charges tied to his last stint in Dallas: using a fake passport to buy furniture, using a fake name to rent an apartment at the Ashton, and using a stolen credit card to pay a doggie daycare bill.
During Thursday-night visitation hours at the county jail last week, Manos explained why he didn't think he should be in there at all.
For one thing, he's missing out on the reality show he says was all set -- Life On Parole, which would follow him and his dog Mimi (who's still waiting for him on the outside, he says). For another thing, the book's already written -- all but the ending, where he walks out into freedom. But all those plans have been shelved for now, since he claims he's been denied a speedy trial (he says he should've been shipped down from New York months ago to stand trial for the charges in Dallas, the last of which were filed last summer).
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Now he's facing three charges, including two for making a false statement to obtain credit: Prosecutors say he faked a name (Mladen "Mordan" Stefanov), birth date and Social Security number to rent an apartment at the Ashton and fill it with furniture from a rental center.
Manos faces a third charge, for using the credit card belonging to Robert Petrie, a co-owner at the since-closed Uptown restaurant Bella, for charges at The Petropolitan, a luxury downtown dog groomer.
As The News has pointed out, Manos's previous court appearances have been interesting so far, including one during which his defense attorney Craig Price tried, unsuccessfully, to call a prosecutor to the stand. He's also subpoenaed another Dallas County prosecutor who, Manos told me at the jail, is after him because they'd partied together before he was arrested.
Manos's bond is set at $150,000, an amount his lawyer tried unsuccessfully to have reduced. For what it's worth, the motion to reduce the 47-year-old Manos's bond describes him as "an 18-year-old high school student" who wants to get out and return to class -- which would be a pretty impressive identity to assume.