Monday, March 13, 2017

Cops use dating site to lure guy who beat up his girlfriend during breakup

By Angela Matua

Cops from the 114th Precinct were able to find and arrest a violent criminal in Astoria, NY using non-traditional bait – the dating site Plenty of Fish, the precinct’s commander reported on Tuesday night. On Dec. 5, 2016 at about 7:20 a.m., officers received a call about an assault in progress in Astoria. The victim told them that, while attempting to break up with her boyfriend, he punched her in the face with a nail in his hand. The woman suffered a laceration near her left eye, according to Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, commanding officer of the 114th Precinct. Cops were unable to find him, but they took a complaint report and kept the investigation open.

Officer Otto Pereira, a member of the domestic violence unit, took on the case. During the investigation, Pereira found out that the suspect had six criminal contempt charges for violating an order of protection from the same woman. It was also discovered that he had checked into a drug rehabilitation center after the assault.

For weeks, it was impossible for police to know here he was being treated because of patient confidentiality laws. A break in the case came when the victim alerted police to a dating site profile he created on Plenty of Fish. The free online dating site has more than 90 million registered users, according to its website.

Pereira advised the victim to make a fake profile to lure in her ex-boyfriend into a meeting. “Surprisingly, after several days the perpetrator took the bait,” Fortune said. On Jan. 25, the victim also called the suspect and convinced him to meet her at a bar in Manhattan. While the victim stayed at the precinct, a female officer went to the location to act as a decoy and the NYPD Warrent Squad was also there.

The suspect was arrested at the bar. The NYPD worked with District Attorney Richard A. Brown’s office to “enhance the case,” Fortune said. They discovered that the suspect, who is in his late 30s, had 42 previous arrests. Because of his arrests and six criminal contempt charges, the victim is now remanded in jail on an attempted murder charge.

Officer Pereira was honored with the Cop of the Month award for January during the Feb. 28 114th Precinct Community Council meeting “for his professionalism in which he conducted this though investigation,” Fortune said.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Conman uses Online Dating to Scam 15 women out of $360K

by Cheyenne Roundtree For Dailymail.com
A conman scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars out of 15 women after he posed as a billionaire businessman on big-name dating sites. John Edward Taylor stole up to $360,000 from several women across the United States after pretending to be a wealthy businessman and an oil tycoon, a FBI report claims. The 46-year-old allegedly would use dating sites such as eHarmony to trick women into relationships in order to steal their identities and gain access to their bank accounts.

John Edward Taylor, 46, scammed at least 15 women out hundreds of thousands of dollars, the FBI claims Taylor, who also went by Jay Taylor, was operating his scam for the past five years, according to the complaint filed in New York in June 2016, according to NBC New York.

When a woman - who Taylor charged $60,0000 to an American Express card in her name - confronted him, he threatened to send sexually explicit photos of the woman to her employer, the FBI said. Taylor allegedly wrote in a message: 'Have fun at [work]. I'm sending them all.' He had obtained his victim's social security number when he pretended that he wanted to order furniture for her so he could open a store credit account.

He would meet women from cities such as New York City and Atlanta through a host of online dating sites such as eHarmony, Match and Seeking Arrangement, the complaint stated. The conman would also trick his victims of their money by 'forgetting his wallet' at hotels or shelling out cash for expensive office rentals once they believed they were hired by him, NBC New York reported.

To another victim, Taylor allegedly said he was robbed at gunpoint and needed to use her credit card to buy things and spent $17,000.

Taylor was arrested at country club in Yardley, Pennsylvania and police believe he was living out of his car during the scams. He faces up to 30 years in prison for charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and threatening interstate communications.