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A "fake Romeo" seduced more than 100 women with promises of love and then scammed them. Now he's going to jail


Patrick Giblin seduced and defrauded more than 100 women with stories about his wealthy family and a waterfront property in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Patrick Giblin in an undated arrest photo.

He presented himself to women as a wealthy romantic looking for love.

Obtained by CNN

(CNN) --

Patrick Giblin was like America's version of the "Tinder scammer," but without the private jets.

Giblin lured women with stories about his respectable family -- he said his father was a judge -- and a waterfront property in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he claimed he worked in the casino industry, according to a federal criminal complaint.

He told them that he was willing to settle down and that he was more interested in a woman's inner beauty than her physical appearance.

Patrick Giblin in an undated arrest photo.

He presented himself to women as a wealthy romantic looking for love.

Obtained by CNN

He promised that distance was not a problem because he had access to discounted flights and was even willing to relocate to a woman's city to further the romance.

But federal officials say these were all lies, concocted to defraud women looking for love through dating sites.

A review of plea deals and federal complaints show Giblin defrauded at least 100 women over two decades, luring them out of more than $250,000 with false promises followed by requests for short-term loans that were never repaid. .

"He took advantage of vulnerabilities, promising to end the loneliness of a woman who had just ended a long-term relationship or to comfort someone who had just experienced the death of a loved one," says a report from New Jersey federal prosecutors.

"Giblin was convincing these women that he was willing to move to his town, but he needed money to be sent to do it."

Despite the convictions and serving prison terms, he continued to scam women, even after he was caught and twice escaped from federal custody.

Prosecutors say Giblin conned women while in prison while serving time on similar charges, and after he became a fugitive for failing to report to a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey.

But their scams may have come to an end.

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Giblin to 66 months in prison for escaping from federal custody and one count of wire fraud for participating in a scheme to defraud women through telephone dating services.

His scams predate Tinder and other dating apps

Giblin's scams date back to the early 2000s, according to authorities, when he was in his 30s, and long before Tinder, Bumble and other dating apps.

He is now 58 years old.

On Lavalife, QuestChat and other dating services, Giblin called himself "Pat," an apparently charismatic man who assured women that their weight, height and other physical characteristics were not an issue, according to the federal criminal complaint.

According to the documents, he created numerous accounts in his name on dating sites in the United States and Canada.

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Prosecutors say he messaged the women on the sites, telling them he was looking for a long-term relationship with a "real, authentic, genuine woman" and they exchanged phone numbers.

Giblin would then engage in lengthy phone conversations with the women before beginning to ask for money, according to court documents.

He gave them various excuses for financial emergencies, such as his car had broken down or he needed funds to release winnings from a gambling tournament, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say Patrick Giblin continued to scam women from this federal prison in Estill, South Carolina.

(Credit: Federal Bureau of Prisons)

His scams predated digital payment services Venmo, Zelle and other apps, so he would ask women to send him cash, usually several hundred dollars at a time, via MoneyGram or Western Union.

Some of the women did not know how to use the transfer services, but he guided them through the process, according to federal court documents.

Prosecutors say Giblin was targeting vulnerable women, including widows, women with physical disabilities and single mothers, including at least one who had recently lost a child.

"Giblin went after the lonely and the broken-hearted. He found out their weak points and attacked them when he couldn't get their money," Kathy Waters, executive director of Advocating Against Romance Scammers, told CNN.

"Victims suffer not only financial abuse, but emotional and psychological abuse as well. He is a master manipulator who has ripped off an unknown number of people, some of whom will never talk about it."

Giblin's public defender, Lori Koch, declined to comment when contacted by CNN.

Giblin was first arrested in 2005 for defrauding a woman in Ohio.

Giblin's scams first came to light after he was charged with racketeering in New Jersey for allegedly defrauding a woman in Ohio.

This occurred in March 2005.

After his arrest, the FBI stated that he had used the same telephone dating services to defraud women across the country for the previous five years, according to court documents.

At the time, Giblin admitted that in a five-year period he had victimized more than 80 women, according to a federal report.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 115 months in prison.

But that was just the beginning.

Waters believes his victim toll is likely much higher because Giblin continued to scam women on and off until 2021, and some victims of romance scammers are too ashamed to come forward.

"The number of romance scam victims hit by Giblin in the United States over the years is a number we've never seen linked to a single scammer," Waters said.

"Not reporting the crime is common among victims of romance scams. Many times scrutiny accompanies the report, which causes shame and modesty."

To avoid confusing the women, Giblin kept detailed notes on his dating service activity, including the names of the victims, their physical descriptions, what they did and the type of man they sought, according to the criminal complaint.

The FBI interviewed numerous women who revealed that they had wired money to him.

As part of a plea deal, Giblin admitted that he had stolen more than $200,000 from women over the years.

In April 2007, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to more than nine years in prison.

He was sent to a federal prison in Greenville, Illinois.

But his criminal activity did not stop.

Escaped from federal custody in 2012

In late 2012, federal officials placed Giblin in a residential reentry program in Philadelphia.

There, he was given a day pass to find a job in Atlantic City, but he never returned and became a fugitive, according to the criminal complaint.

A few weeks later, federal authorities found him in an Atlantic City hotel, gambling funds from women he had defrauded through telephone dating services while on the run, according to court documents.

He had checked into the hotel under an alias, "Michael Patrick."

A federal agent asked Giblin where he got the $711 in his possession and if he had received any money from women, and he replied: "There's a girl I've been fucking with."

But a search of his hotel room revealed that there was more than one woman.

Investigators recovered a cell phone, money transfer receipts and notebooks containing a trove of information, including physical descriptions, interests and hobbies of women he interacted with on dating sites while on the run.

The women were from all over the country, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Carolina, New York and Ohio.

In his notes on a woman, Giblin wrote: "She has a savings account. House is paid for, she's not a gold digger," the federal documents said.

He pleaded guilty to the evasion charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In December 2013, he was released from prison again, this time to begin supervised release in New Jersey, according to federal documents.

As a condition of his release, Giblin was required to notify his probation officer of any plans to leave the state, but a federal agent later detained him at a hotel in Colonie, New York.

While in New York, Giblin used dating sites to meet and defraud more than 10 women of between $15,000 and $40,000, according to court documents.

Eight years later, he eloped again.

Giblin was convicted and sentenced in August 2017 to five years in prison and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution.

But he continued to swindle women while incarcerated in federal prisons in Estill, South Carolina, and Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, court records said.

In July 2020, his transfer from Lewisburg prison to a residential halfway house in Newark was approved.

Federal officials say he was escorted to a plane in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Giblin's itinerary included a stopover in Charlotte.

He never made it to Newark.

While on the run, Giblin posted messages on phone dating services and continued to scam and receive money from women, federal documents say.

Prosecutors say that between 2019 and 2021 she defrauded around a dozen women out of more than US$37,000.

He was arrested in March 2021 in Atlantic City and pleaded guilty in July of this year to wire fraud and escaping federal custody.

In addition to his sentence imposed this week of 66 months in prison, Giblin was given three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $23,428.

Waters, the advocate for victims of romance scams, said she doesn't think the sentence was harsh enough given the breadth of Giblin's crimes, and it only buys him time to plan more ways to scam women.

"Unfortunately, the charges did not include all the lives he harmed," he told CNN.

"It takes years to heal emotionally, psychologically and financially from these scammers."


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-12-09

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