con man

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Serial Con Man's Unusual Sentencing Request Granted

Jimmy Sabatino, who ran $10M fraud job from prison, will have almost zero contact with anyone

(Newser) - In what the Sun Sentinel calls an "extremely unusual" case out of Florida, a judge has granted an inmate accused of running a multimillion-dollar fraud job out of his jail cell his sentencing request: to keep him away from nearly every person on Earth so he won't be... More »

He Called Himself 'Mr. Breeze.' He Was Really a 'Con Man'

Brendan Borrell profiles Jeff Caldwell in 'Outside'

(Newser) - In the thru-hiking community, he called himself Mr. Breeze. On dating website Plenty of Fish, he was "lovetohike1972." But to those who've encountered Jeff Caldwell over the past two decades, he's perhaps best known as a con man who gains a person's trust only to... More »

Terrified, She Left. So He Went After Her Daughter

But Terra Newell fought back against John Meehan

(Newser) - Someone always gets it in the end, and in the case of John Meehan—or "Dirty John," the nickname that doubled as the title for the Los Angeles Times' six-part series on the con man —it was him. He had had something else in mind, though. Some... More »

It's Not Easy Leaving a Man Even Strangers Are Terrified Of

Part 5 in the 'Dirty John' series from the 'Los Angeles Times'

(Newser) - "Scariest man I've met in my 70 years," attorney John Dzialo tells the Los Angeles Times in Part 5 of its six-part series on "Dirty John" Meehan, a conman who married a California woman desperate to find love . Dzialo was hired—and quickly fired—by Meehan... More »

She Learned Her Husband Was 'Dirty John'—and Went Back

Part 4 of the 'Dirty John' series in the 'LAT'

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times on Thursday dropped Part 4 of six in its "Dirty John" series, and the title is "Forgiveness." If you've been following along , go ahead and read deep into that word. It's true: After uncovering more than 300 pages that documented her... More »

Married for a Decade. Then She Met the Real 'Dirty John'

Conman called 'the most devious, dangerous, deceptive person I ever met'

(Newser) - John Meehan became "Dirty John"—occasionally "Filthy John"—in law school. The nickname was bestowed by his classmates for the sheer number of women he would bring home, but it seemed to cover a lot of his unseemly behavior, Christopher Goffard writes in the third installment... More »

He Was the Man of Her Dreams. Then the Red Flags Piled Up

The 'Los Angeles Times' presents 'Dirty John' in 6 parts

(Newser) - At 59, Debra Newell had found professional—but not romantic—success. Divorced four times, the Irvine, Calif., interior designer hadn't totally given up on love, and then it found her in a whirlwind. She met John Meehan via an online dating site in October 2014, and he seemed too... More »

'Legendary' Con Artist Accused of New Scam ... From Prison

Authorities say Jimmy Sabatino conned stores out of luxury goods over the phone

(Newser) - Prison appears to be doing nothing to change serial con man Jimmy Sabatino. The Miami Herald reports the "legendary" con artist pleaded guilty Friday to running a lucrative scam out of his cell at a federal facility in Florida. Authorities say Sabatino bought cellphones from corrections officers then used... More »

Cops: Con Man Scammed NBA Stars Out of Their Shoes

He told them he was Adele's manager

(Newser) - A Florida con man with a long history of celebrity-related scams managed to trick several NBA stars into giving him their sneakers, police say. Justin Jackson and his wife, Angel Lii, have been charged with felonies including identity theft and conspiracy to defraud, the Miami Herald reports. Police say that... More »

Inside the Improbable $100M Grift of Bobby Thompson

America's strangest conman who also might be a CIA operative

(Newser) - With his fake-looking pompadour and nonprescription glasses, Bobby Charles Thompson came across like a "kook"—but, as one political consultant puts it, that was the "brilliance of his con." The Washingtonian dives headlong into the bizarre tale of Thompson, who was behind what is believed to... More »

Infamous Con Man Found Living in Illegal Mountain Shack

James Hogue once posed as high-school student and track star

(Newser) - Time named him one of America's "top 10 impostors," and now James Hogue is likely headed back to prison after authorities found him living in a homemade shack high in the Colorado mountains. A police officer spotted the 57-year-old con man in the illegal shack on... More »

The Biggest Self-Help Charlatan You Never Heard Of

Napoleon Hill wrote a best-selling book, but he also lived a life of 'countless scams'

(Newser) - Long before Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins started preaching about how to be the best you possible, Napoleon Hill was peddling his own self-help mantras, penning 1937's Think and Grow Rich and inspiring not just cult-like behavior, but an actual cult. Matt Novak dives into Hill's jaw-dropping backstory... More »

After 'Chinese Blessing' Turns Out to Be Scam, an Arrest

Attorney says accused was smuggled into US, her participation was forced

(Newser) - Back in July, police in New York announced they were looking for a group of female grifters involved in a "Chinese blessing scam" that has taken off in Brooklyn's Asian neighborhoods, reports Jezebel . The women were said to eavesdrop on conversations to figure out what problems a person... More »

Con Man Fooled Soldiers, Lived in Army Barracks for Months

He even assigned rooms and conducted inspections

(Newser) - The Fayetteville Observer has a crazy look at how a 20-year-old con man successfully lived in the barracks at Fort Bragg for months despite never having served in the military. His ruse was apparently so successful he even started assigning rooms to new soldiers and conducting room inspections. The information... More »

Our Greatest Con Man Remains a Mystery

'Count Victor Lustig' once sold the Eiffel Tower

(Newser) - He called himself Count Victor Lustig. Others knew him as "the smoothest con man that ever lived" and a "top man in the modern world of crime." After all, he did sell the Eiffel Tower. And his counterfeit US banknotes were so authentic that authorities were concerned... More »

How an Online Dating Scam Ruined a Woman's Life

'Wired' takes in-depth look at a common scheme

(Newser) - You've no doubt received and deleted your share of obvious scam emails, but a piece by Brendan Koerner at Wired shows in wrenching detail how an email or message at a vulnerable time can throw a life off track. The story follows the travails of Audrey Elrod, who was... More »

Inmate Escapes by Emailing Own Release Order to Jail

A crime of 'extraordinary criminal inventiveness, deviousness': prosecutor

(Newser) - A smuggled cellphone and an online scheme that even a British judge called "ingenious" allowed a 28-year-old inmate waiting for his fraud trial to escape prison, NBC News reports. Last March, Neil Moore was housed in England's Wandsworth Prison—the same facility that once housed Julian Assange and... More »

Man Faked Quadriplegia in Effort to Duck Court

Alan Knight admitting to stealing $65K from neighbor

(Newser) - Some people work so hard to not have to work: Such is the case of Alan Knight, a 47-year-old Welsh man who conned $65,000 out of his neighbor, an 85-year-old pensioner with dementia. He then went to great lengths to avoid prosecution—claiming to be a quadriplegic and even... More »

Scammers Sell Woman iPad Made of ... Wood

Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be a wood block

(Newser) - Ashley McDowell probably should have been suspicious when two guys approached her in a South Carolina McDonald’s parking lot and offered to sell her an iPad for $300. She almost certainly should have gotten suspicious when, after she explained she only had $180, the pair still agreed to the... More »

Madoff: Banks 'Had to Know' About My Scheme

In first interview, says they were 'complicit' by not acting against him

(Newser) - How did Bernie Madoff pull off such a massive Ponzi scheme under the noses of the banks and hedge funds he dealt with? Simple, he says. They knew he was a fraud. “They had to know,” Madoff tells the New York Times in his first interview since being... More »

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