Internet trolls who live with their parents just got a knock to their sterling reputations, as John Egan, a 32-year-old sports fan who lived with his parents in Stuyvesant Town, is now the subject of a Manhattan DA's office investigation after scamming rich divorcees out of their fortunes. But how can you blame them for falling for a mug like this?
Egan allegedly posed as a 40-year-old NFL executive to woo Thea Miller, a San Francisco native, on Match.com in 2007. And though the two never met, Egan racked up a $250,000 tab on her credit card, buying things like a $1,799.99 Michael Jordan Team USA jersey, tickets to baseball games and cases of wine. The scam went on for over two years, but Miller said she didn't suspect anything. "He charmed me. He said he loved his mother, grew up in a big Catholic family. He was very sweet. I figured I'd meet him when I'd meet him. I wasn't in a hurry. I was falling in love."
Shortly after their internet introduction, Egan allegedly said he was having credit card issues, and wanted to take his mother out to dinner. Miller trustingly forked over the numbers to two of her cards. When she confronted him about her sky-high bills, he sent her checks that bounced, and began threatening her with text messages like "I know where your snotty-brat kid lives" when she said she would call the authorities. She has now had to sell her house and take her son out of private school to pay off her debts.
Another west coast woman, Yolanda Castaneda, was almost sucked into Egan's trap, but became suspicious when she realized he was trolling Match.com almost all the time. She won a small-claims-court judgment against him in 2007 after shipping him wine that was supposed to be used for his parents' anniversary party. For his latest scam, the DA plans to seat a grand jury next month on grand larceny charges. Next up, Romeo Grifter gets his own blog column.