by Lou Sessinger
A homeless man who used a phony investment scheme to con women he met at an Internet dating site will find a home for the next few years behind the walls of a state prison.
Paul S. Krueger, 50, who has former addresses in Souderton, Telford and Hatfield, pleaded guilty Friday in Montgomery County Court to one count of felony theft charges for scamming victims out of $100,000, which he then gambled away at Atlantic City casinos. Judge Thomas C. Branca accepted the recommendation of the prosecution and defense and sentenced Krueger to three to seven years at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford.
Krueger was also ordered to repay the 13 victims of his scam a total of $100,000, something the prosecutor said Krueger likely will be unable to do. Had not the prosecution and defense negotiated Krueger’s guilty plea by dropping some charges and consolidating others, the con man could have faced a maximum sentence of 174 years in prison if convicted on all counts, his lawyer, Chief Public Defender Stephen Heckman, explained to his client during Friday’s hearing.
The judge also sentenced Krueger to a concurrent sentence of 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation from a similar crime he pleaded guilty to in 2006. In the most recent crime, he’d met his victims on an Internet dating site called MillionaireMatch.com, which describes itself as “the first, most effective and largest site in the world to connect with, date, marry successful, beautiful people."
Krueger passed himself off as a Grammy nominated sound engineer in the recording industry who was looking for investors. Some of the women, who lived in various parts of the country, had friends who also invested in Krueger’s nonexistent business. In all, 13 people gave Krueger between $500 and $20,000 for a total of $100,000.
“All the money was lost in the casinos,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert J. Sander, who heads the economic crime unit. “Mr. Krueger had a bad gambling habit. All the money’s gone. He was essentially homeless and living on the streets of Atlantic City when he was arrested.”Although Krueger was ordered to begin repaying his victims when released from prison, Sander said,
“He probably is never going to make restitution. You can’t get blood from a stone, and he doesn’t have anything. When he gets out of prison, we’ll see what happens.”
Lou Sessinger is a columnist with The Intelligencer and phillyBurbs.com.
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This guy sounds like EVERY SINGLE ONE of our cyberpaths (listed on the Right Column here).
If you have issues with this story - please contact the NEWS MEDIA who published it in the first place and the District Attorney (their phone number is: 610-278-3090) in this. Not us. We are just reporting what the media has already.
Thanks to 'Gypsy' from the EOPC Support Group for this one!