con man

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He Put Up Fake Border Signs. Then He Took Them to 'Finland'

Con man arrested for swindling migrants, dumping them in Russian forest instead of the EU

(Newser) - They thought they'd found a new life in Finland—but they were really just wandering in circles in a Russian forest. The BBC reports four men from South Asia forked over more than $11,000 each to a man they thought was going to provide them safe passage to... More »

80 Charged in Massive Love Scam Run Out of LA

Man named Valentine, another Nigerian citizen are accused masterminds of scheme out of California

(Newser) - The feds say elderly women and businesses were the perpetrators' targets, and that they managed to squeeze at least $6 million out of their victims in what prosecutors are calling "one of the largest cases of its kind in US history." CNN reports on the arrests Thursday of... More »

He Thought He'd Die, So He Began a Con. He Didn't Die

Mark Olmsted, who was HIV-positive, assumed identity of his dead brother Luke

(Newser) - It seemed like it would be quite a way to go after getting diagnosed with a likely fatal illness: become a con man and live your remaining days out like a king. Except, as Nathaniel Penn notes in a fascinating profile for GQ : "What the hell happens if you... More »

How a Fact-Checking Journalist Nearly Married a Con Man

Abby Ellin runs an excerpt of her new book in 'Marie Claire'

(Newser) - In August 2010, Abby Ellin and her fiance moved into a one-bedroom rental at the Watergate in Washington, DC. It's a location infamous for being "ground zero for deception," and it's an almost poetic detail in Ellin's story of falling for a con man. Ellin... More »

She Was Divorced, He Was a Catch. Then She Looked in His Wallet

The Atlantic has the story of a con man named Derek Alldred (or Richie Peterson)

(Newser) - Several months into their relationship, Missi Brandt decided to peek in her boyfriend's wallet. On the one hand, Richie Peterson was a godsend: An Afghanistan veteran wrapping up his political science doctorate at the University of Minnesota who was also divorced with kids, had a motorboat, and covered her... More »

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 »

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