con artist

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Con Woman Who Faked Being Rich Heiress in ICE Custody

After being released from prison, Anna Sorokin (aka 'Anna Delvey') may now get sent back to Germany

(Newser) - She pretended to be a rich New York socialite named Anna Delvey. Now, con artist Anna Sorokin is in the custody of US immigration authorities and facing deportation to her native Germany. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson tells the AP that Sorokin, 30, was detained on March 25 and...

It's a Con Artist Tale Tailor-Made for Hollywood
'Con Queen of Hollywood'
Suspect Is Arrested
in case you missed it

'Con Queen of Hollywood' Suspect Is Arrested

FBI says con man impersonated female studio execs, duped wannabe stars of cash

(Newser) - Hollywood loves a good con artist story, but this one might hit a little too close to home. In this case, the victims were aspiring stars who were allegedly duped by a man impersonating top female Hollywood execs over the phone. The FBI has just announced the arrest of a...

Gifted Con Artist Got His Start as a Famous Stowaway
Master Con Artist Began
as a Teenage Stowaway
longform

Master Con Artist Began as a Teenage Stowaway

Juan Carlos Guzman Betancur went on to steal from ritzy hotel guests by impersonating them

(Newser) - In his native Colombia, locals know him as the "polizon," or stowaway. But as a story at Medium explains, Juan Carlos Guzman Betancur is known to detectives in the US and around the world as something else—"one of the most gifted conmen in the world,"...

How an $80M Scandal Blew Up NYC's Art World

Barry Avrich chronicles a con in his new film, 'Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art'

(Newser) - When a prestigious gallery sells $80 million of modern art, it's a day at the office. When it's all fake, that's news—and the story behind a new documentary called Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art, the CBC reports. Filmmaker Barry Avrich says he...

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...

She Put Life Savings in a Bag, Came Home With Corn Starch

'New Yorker' looks at rising 'blessing scams' in Chinatown

(Newser) - It was a slick con. In Brooklyn's Chinatown, a small group of Chinese women working as a crew found their victim in another Chinese woman, this one a 61-year-old immigrant destined to lose her life savings in a "blessing scam." A story by Jiayang Fan in the...

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...

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...

Wife to Presidents, 'Mom' to Ivanka, or Maybe Just a Con

Madame Giselle has some stories to tell

(Newser) - “I’d never met anybody like her in my life,” Bob Underwood says. He says his neighbor, known as Madame Giselle, claimed to be the former wife of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and current secret wife of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. She told him she was...

'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...

'Fake Love Scam' Costs 92-Year-Old His Life Savings

'I think she was stalking me'

(Newser) - Conning the elderly for financial gain is nothing new, but a scheme dubbed the "fake love scam" has officials on high alert. Authorities near Chicago say 92-year-old Aloysius Mack lost much of his life savings to a woman who first approached him at a McDonald's and eventually tricked...

He Was a Rich NFL Star. He Got Scammed in Silicon Valley

Inside the odd story of Eren Niazi, Patrick Willis, and Open Storage Solutions

(Newser) - Open Source Storage is a phoenix of sorts, reborn in 2013 from the ashes of the original Open Source Storage. It was founded by a twenty-something man named Eren Niazi in 2001 and ultimately bankrupted, but not before supposedly working with the likes of AOL, Sony, and the NSA. Niazi'...

Cops Found a Head in a Bucket. Then Things Got Weird

In his truck police found cash, firearms, and a bucket with the head inside

(Newser) - The severed head of Llewelyn Lucas, a beloved local pastor in Belize, was on July 16 found stuffed into a bucket in the back of a truck outside a bar. But as police began to investigate, things only got weirder, reports Vice in a lengthy look at last weekend's...

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...

Will Smith Is Back in Focus
 Will Smith Is Back in Focus 
MOVIE REVIEW

Will Smith Is Back in Focus

Smith, Margot Robbie charm in film that lacks sense: critics

(Newser) - Will Smith stars as Nicky, an established con man who takes on a new apprentice, Australian newcomer Margot Robbie's Jess, in Focus. They both love the con game, but who's playing who? Here's what critics are saying:
  • Richard Corliss at Time is a fan. "The mix
...

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...

Woman Accused of Scam Fundraising After Newtown Shooting

Bronx resident allegedly lied about being related to a victim

(Newser) - Scammers have been quick to exploit the tragedy in Newtown, and the FBI says it has arrested a Bronx woman for just that. Agents busted 37-year-old Nouel Alba today and accused her of pretending to be related to one of the young victims and seeking donations for the family via...

Cops Nab Guy Who Posed as Uncle of Adam Lanza

Jonathan Lee Riches has history of weird cons

(Newser) - Police have arrested a convicted felon who drove to Newtown, Conn., and fed false information to the press while posing as Adam Lanza's uncle, The Smoking Gun reports. Jonathan Lee Riches, 35, was on probation for conspiracy and wire fraud when he showed up in Newtown as "Jonathan...

Lawyers Have Lost $70M to ... Email Scammers

One will be prosecuted this fall

(Newser) - Even lawyers can be taken in by email scams—and one US Postal Inspector estimates law firms have lost at least $70 million to such scams since 2009, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scammers email lawyers—known for their eagerness to gain new clients, often via the Internet—with a...

Well Sure, Strangers, You Can Borrow My BMW

Hooters patron hasn't seen it since

(Newser) - An apparently absurdly kindhearted Virginia man got taken for a ride recently, when he lent out his BMW to people purporting to be travelers with a hard-luck story. The man was at a Hooters in Fairfax City, when a couple came in saying their car had broken down on the...

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