If you missed Lauren’s first installment, you can find it here. This true story demonstrates the value of being able to seek justice…..
Finding Closure After Exploitation-
Several months later, in 2014, he came to visit me in Florida, and I was astounded when he made a plea for $65,000 to help with a series of desperate situations. When I told him I did not have the money, he asked me to get it from my retirement funds.
I knew at that very moment that I was staring at a con man in my home, not the man that I had been in love with for over a year. I also knew I needed to get him out of my house.
I went through an emotional tailspin. Who was this man that I fell in love with and put my life on hold for, in what became a long-distance relationship which lasted for over a year? He turned out to be a criminal, a con man, a scoundrel. I realized that I’d been targeted and his sole purpose in meeting me was to defraud me of money.
I began putting the pieces together
He had romanced me to gain my trust and continued to manipulate my feelings and emotions. It was all so creepy. I didn’t know how scary of a character he was, or if he was “just a con man.” But mark my words…….. the term “just a con man,” negates the evilness that transpired.
He was a sociopath. I wondered if he had been in prison or had done really horrible things. I had no idea. I conducted research and uncovered that he was a complete actor. I even learned that he had aliases. Why did he officially change his name? All I knew was that the whole relationship was a lie and that I had been scammed out of a lot of money.
His fraud seriously impacted my well-being
I lost my sense of trust in the world. I no longer felt safe in my home. I wondered if he was going to find more ways to exploit me, as he had threatened me with the private pictures he’d taken of me.
I felt internally sick about having had sex with this criminal man whose sole purpose was to exploit me financially, any way he could. It made me feel so violated to have had sex with someone so evil. It’s really quite scary.
He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
The bombshell dropped in 2015 when my research revealed that he was married the whole time I knew him and still is! He clearly stated he was single on the dating site for single people! I never in my wildest dreams would have engaged in a relationship knowing this, and I certainly never would have provided money to a married man.
The betrayal was even worse than I’d realized. He had con men “buddies” that played supporting roles in this drama, meeting us at restaurants for “business meetings” to make him appear more legitimate. He orchestrated an elaborate fraud scheme that qualifies as a 3rd degree felony in the state of Florida.
I researched the man’s business associates, including one that I had met. I found felony records and huge IRS troubles; not to mention, there were shady multi-level marketing sites. The online site Ripoff Report featured one of his associates.
The man that scammed me has a flashy web presence that appears impressive to the untrained or trusting eye, but actually reveals the profile of a typical con man. To a trusting person, he would seem to have a clean record with no criminal history.
I got nowhere with the police!
It is nearly impossible to pursue this as a crime, so I filed a civil suit; first as a pro se case, and then I obtained a lawyer. The legal complaint was for “Fraud, Breach of Contract, and Unjust Enrichment.”
To be continued on Sunday, March 27, 2018