(Boston, U.S.) A married man met four other women online, romanced them over several years and then stole more than $200,000 from them by feigning financial and medical problems, authorities said.
Albert Lovering, of Waltham, Massachusetts, was indicted Tuesday on 23 counts of larceny, pleading not guilty on Wednesday.
Lovering, 54, met the women through various dating websites and deceived them into believing he was romantically attached to them, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said.
The women loaned Lovering money – including one who gave him more than $100,000 after meeting him just once – with the expectation he would repay them, but he never did, Mr Leone said.
'These allegations are extremely troubling and the defendant's lies spanned several years, targeting numerous victims who were conned into believing the defendant cared for them,' Leone said in a statement.
Lovering's lawyer, Daniel Flaherty, revealed his marital status as he asked a judge to release his client on personal recognizance as he awaits trial. He said Lovering has lived with his wife in Waltham since 1999.
The judge rejected the request and set bail at $10,000 cash.
Mr Flaherty did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the accusations, the Associated Press reports.
Lovering allegedly met the first woman in 2006 after they both placed dating ads on Yahoo.com.
The woman agreed to loan him $1,000 after he told her he had placed a bid on eBay on an item he had to purchase immediately, prosecutors said. He allegedly then told the woman he needed more money for several purchases and that he needed her to co-sign a loan.
When the loan was approved, he used the money for himself and did not repay the woman, Mr Leone said.
Lovering met the second woman in 2008 through a personal ad on Craigslist and courted her with 'romantic dinners and professions of warmth, affection and physical attraction,' Mr Leone said.
He also convinced her that he needed $28,000 to complete an eBay purchase, authorities said.
The woman never saw Lovering again, but he continued to communicate with her electronically, telling her he had to stay in hospital in New Hampshire for a serious medical condition, Leone said.
He allegedly told her that his health insurer would not pay several of his medical bills and that the hospital would not release him until those bills were paid.
'Based on his need, her affection for him and his promises of repayment, she sent a series of checks payable to him to a post office box,' Leone said. In total, the woman loaned him more than $70,000, he said.
Prosecutors said Lovering met a third woman in 2009 through Craigslist.
When they met for the first time, Lovering allegedly told the woman he owed the Internal Revenue Service back taxes and asked for a loan.
The woman loaned Lovering $7,200 and never saw him again, Mr Leone said. Lovering met the fourth woman through Plentyoffish.com, authorities said.
They met only once, but Mr Leone said Lovering led the woman to believe he was romantically interested in her and told her he needed a loan to pay back taxes. The woman gave him two checks totalling $1,500 on the promise that he would repay her, authorities said.
Mr Leone said Lovering told the woman in January 2009 that he was hospitalized in New Hampshire and unable to get discharged until all his medical bills were paid.
The woman repeatedly sent money to him through a post office box, investigators said. All told, she loaned him more than $100,000, they said.