An Arizona man was sentenced to over 15 years in prison on Friday for defrauding at least 13 women out of their money that he met on dating sites.
Daylon Pierce, who also went by the name Daylon Jung, was given 15 years and nine months for swindling the women and using it to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Between 2013 and 2016, Pierce opened accounts on sites such as Tinder.com, Match.com, and PlentyOfFish.com to meet his victims.
He falsely told them that he was a licensed stock broker, and once he gained their trust, promised he would help them invest their money wisely.
“He was on the phone, working deals with his computer right there, listening to him talk and be so courteous and nice to other investors,” said Rose Reddy who spoke at his sentencing trial.
She said he seemed to be as well off as he said he was, and she had no reason to believe he wasn’t the successful stockbroker he portrayed himself to be.
“He had the BMW, the Porsche, the Jeep, the house in Paradise Valley,” she said, according to Fox 10.
Another victim, Tara DeGrazia, said he inquired about her credit and if she was capable of buying a car or a house. He promised to help her invest her money in U.S. securities so that she could pay off her student loans, and according to the indictment, she gave him between $4,000 and $25,000 to invest.
“I had just gotten a divorce,” DeGrazia said at the hearing, according to ABC 15. “I was vulnerable and he ‘wowed’ me.”
Besides cars and multiple homes, he spent their money at strip clubs, casinos, and nightclubs, the Arizona attorney general said in a press release.
One of the victims entrusted $240,000, including part of her 401(k) proceeds, to him. Another victim took out more than $100,000 in loans and gave the money to Pierce to invest.
Reddy lost $425,000 and thereafter was unable to send her daughter to college. Others went bankrupt, went into foreclosure, or had their credit scores ruined.
Sarah Gary, another victim, trusted him to invest at least $25,000 in securities, according to the indictment.
“He said all the right things,” she said in court, according to AZCentral.com.
Gary said she eventually figured out what Pierce had done and filed a police report. When she called Pierce to let him know what she had done, he told her she would be arrested for spreading falsehoods, Gary testified.
In all, prosecution charged that he bilked over $1 million out of his victims.
“Daylon Pierce is a career criminal and a con man who deserves to be locked up,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who prosecuted the case. “Victims sign up hoping to find love and instead they’re left heartbroken with their life savings stolen.”
Pierce appeared apologetic to the women, three of whom spoke at his sentencing on Friday, and asked for their forgiveness.
“If I could have avoided this and taken it back, I would,” Pierce said, according to ABC 15.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices. A restitution hearing will be held at a later date, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said.
AG Brnovich told Fox 10 that the women were not likely to get all of their money back.
Back in January, a state grand jury indicted Pierce and another man for a credit card scheme involving deceased credit card holders.
From August 2016 to January 2017, a Tempe Police investigation revealed Jason Siebert-Thomas and Pierce allegedly used victims’ personal information to obtain duplicate credit cards and make thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases from luxury stores and hotels.
Siebert-Thomas faces 14 felony counts, including two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, and Pierce three felony counts, including one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices.
In 2013, Pierce was released from prison after serving a 13-year sentence for theft, trafficking theft, and gang activity. Records also show that he was on federal probation for bank embezzlement, ABC 15 reports.