A man conned at least 15 women by posing as a billionaire on various dating sites, only to then scam and threaten them out of thousands of dollars, and steal their identities, federal investigators claim.
John Edward Taylor, 46, allegedly presented himself as an oil tycoon with refineries in North Dakota. Using the name "Jay Taylor," he allegedly met women from around the country, including from New York City, on sites such as Match, eHarmony, and Seeking Arrangement. From there, his alleged MO was to build sexual or business relationships with his marks, and eventually extort money from them.
Taylor preyed on women between 2011 and 2016, according to the feds.
A woman identified in court papers as Victim 2 began dating Taylor after meeting him on Match in April 2013. During their relationship, Taylor allegedly offered to buy the woman furniture and asked for her credit card information, Social Security number, and other personal details to open a store credit account—instead, he used the information to get an American Express card, which he allegedly charged $60,000 to over the course of a year. When the woman found out and confronted Taylor, he initially offered to pay her back, but later began to threaten to send sexually explicit pictures of her to her employer, prosecutors charge.
"Have fun at [work]," he allegedly wrote to her. "I'm sending them all."
Another alleged victim moved in with Taylor in June 2015. He purportedly told her that he had been robbed at gunpoint and asked if he could use her credit cards to make a few purchases. When the woman says she noticed Taylor had instead racked up $17,000 in charges and taken out an additional card in her name, she contacted police. At that point, the victim told authorities, Taylor threatened to send explicit pictures of her to her employer as well.
"I'm also sending the pictures to every man that works at your job you know the one that said they want to see you naked there [sic] going to," Taylor allegedly texted her. "By the time I finish with this you will not have a job your boss won't want you nothing know."
Both victims sent screenshots of their conversations with Taylor to the FBI.
Two other women say they met Taylor on Seeking Arrangement—a dating site usually used to facilitate sugar daddy-style relationships—where he allegedly told them he was looking to start a business for professional women who wanted to meet and befriend each other. According to court papers, Taylor convinced one of the women to give him her credit card information and Social Security number while talking on FaceTime. Taylor allegedly also opened a credit card in the other woman's name and charged it with more than $12,000.
Between his 15-plus victims, federal investigators say Taylor stole more than $360,000 before being caught in March 2016 on similar charges in Virginia. Taylor was arrested on Wednesday and is being charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and threatening interstate communications.