A con man who bilked Utahns out of $7,000 has bound found dead in a run-down Liverpool, England, apartment.

The cause of 44-year-old Colin Johnson's death remained unknown after a coroner's inquest Monday.It took English investigators several months to identify Johnson because of the large number of forged documents found in his apartment.

Johnson spent about eight months in Salt Lake City during 1989, frequenting coffee shops in a British Navy officer's uniform, offering his financial assistance when he overheard business being discussed, said police Detective George Clegg.

He often flashed $25 million checks and a photograph of himself arm-in-arm with former President George Bush.

"People were falling for him left and right," said Clegg. "My phone was ringing off the hook before I was able to get him in jail."

At the same time Johnson was lining up bogus business deals for his victims, he would ask them for $10 in gas money. "He was nothing more than a glorified panhandler," said Clegg.

After serving 21/2 years at the Utah State Prison for felony forgery and theft by deception, Johnson was deported to England. He died there unemployed and an alcoholic, according to testimony during Monday's inquest.

Johnson apparently had been dead for more than six weeks when he was found.