Women Fell Hard for Him. Many Say It Cost Them

The 'New Yorker' digs into an alleged serial con man
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2022 8:54 PM CDT
Updated May 15, 2022 6:30 AM CDT
He Wooed Women in NYC. Many Say It Cost Them
Nelson allegedly told women he lived at 35 East Sixty-third Street. He didn't.   (Getty Images)

Lauren Markham has known her friend Julia for more than two decades, giving her a front-row seat to the dealings of a suave New Yorker with a great head of hair who wooed women—Julia's mother among them—and then allegedly slowly sapped money from them. In a lengthy piece for the New Yorker, Markham starts with what happened to Julia's mother, who had been divorced and largely single for nearly 30 years. Then, in 2018, she met Nelson Roth on a dating site for the older set. Their first dates were at top restaurants and luxury hotels in the city. He dressed sharp, seemed to know everyone, was a good tipper, and spoke of properties he owned in far-flung locations. Then came the ask: He had to make a crucial purchase and couldn't reach his broker. Could she front him $7,000?

She didn't have it on her, so she asked Julia, who reluctantly agreed. He promised to repay Julia in three days and tack on an extra $500. He didn't, and so Julia began digging. Markham digs, too: Into Kristie and Elaine, two women who realized they were both dating "Nelson Counne" in 2000 and say he scammed them out of thousands and stole their diamond jewelry. They worked with the Manhattan DA, and Nelson ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of grand larceny and was sentenced to a year. He was convicted of the same crime in 2004 and 2007. One woman who never filed charges says she met Nelson in 1992 and alleges she ended up losing $750,000 to him. (Read the full story, which digs into his family history, an old murder indictment, a possible attempt on Nelson's life, and comments from Nelson himself about all this.)

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