Daniel Spence, now 32, is shown in the Grindr profile that he used to lure victims. He is in jail in Tennessee for theft and fraud
A scammer who aimed his victims at Grindr, promised them the world and then robbed them of millions of dollars, was unmasked years after the police were first notified.
Daniel Spence, 32, is in custody in Nashville, Tennessee, on charges of theft, identity theft, and large-scale theft.
Since 2010 he has been cleaning up men in Texas, Tennessee and New York, claiming to be the godson of advertising giant Roy Spence and declaring that he has $ 150 million at the bank.
In reality, he is the pathologically unfair son of a single mother who started her own advertising company after the death of his sister when they were children. He grew up in Beaumont, Texas, after which he briefly studied college at A&M University before stopping in 2010 to do his & # 39; Catch Me If You Can-like & # 39; schedule & # 39; s.
Together they created scam practices where Daniel would promise friends, landscape architects, family members and prospect data a chance to invest in media companies or mysterious funds for asbestos victims to make millions.
He supported it with fake documents in which he mentioned his invented wealth, fictional financiers and a lifestyle that involved months of traveling to the Hamptons, Cristal, good restaurants, and expensive costumes.
In an article The observer, some of his many victims told how he cheated on them by posing as a rich, Christian son of a Southern family who struggled with his sexuality and came out as gay.
& # 39; It was just like Catch Me If You Can, & # 39;
Friend who had stolen a $ 6,000 ring from Spence while leaving him with them in Louisiana
& # 39; I have Anna Delvey & # 39; d! & # 39; said one, referring to the fake German heiress who suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Manhattan elite.
Spence not only focused on the men, but also tried to buy magazines and properties of millions of dollars before they disappeared in the last second.
He remains in custody and has been in prison for decades in several theft cases for some of his many victims.
Among his victims is Casey Holliday who worked for Brooklyn Magazine when the couple met at Grindr in May 2018.
He told Casey that his godfather had founded Popeyes and he showed him a 2013 letter from former chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus who thanked him for his contribution to the party.
The victims said that Spence would charm them with his southern accent and then promise the world. He is shown, on the left, during one of his many home movements and on the right, in another Grindr profile image
In a text exchange one day, he casually told him: & # 39; I got tired of Lyft and I watched the new Range Rover, so I'll get one. & # 39;
In one exchange with Casey Holliday, the staff executive he previously had access to media bosses, Spence claimed that he would buy a Range Rover
He also brought him to $ 40 hamburger restaurants and invited him to meals at the Bergdorf Goodman restaurant, where he was greeted by the name of the man who claims to be the chef.
Spence wormed Holliday at staff parties and then tried to buy the failed publication for millions, promising staff that they would raise and get assistants.
When it was time to make the deal, he disappeared.
Holliday's boss finally called Roy Spence in search of answers and was told: “Then Spence is not my cousin. This is not the first time this has happened and it must be stopped. & # 39;
There was also a man he met in 2016 at Grindr in Nashville. Unaware of the date, which gave his name only as Brian, Spence was in town for a bail for an old theft and fraud case.
After befriending him, he convinced him to invest $ 10,000 in a trust fund for asbestos victims.
He then stole his identity to collect $ 78,000 on a credit card including meals at Popeyes.
Not all his victims were data.
Tyler Wagner, the cousin of a friend, told how Spence earned him $ 20,000 in debt after he was withdrawn from him and paid credit card fees in his name.
When he confronted him about it in the apartment they had shared somewhere in Texas in 2010, he said that Spence claimed to be diagnosed with cancer and then disappeared.
Spence rented this $ 5,400-per-month Williamsburg apartment in the name of his struggling actor friend by forging tax documents, making it look like he was earning $ 400,000. The friend had no idea
He and his mother, Mary Derby, also stayed with an unnamed friend in Louisiana who says they stole a $ 6,000 ring and then disappeared.
& # 39; It was just like Catch Me If You Can, & # 39; said the friend, who did not want to be mentioned.
A family member, who gave his name only as David, remembered how the couple had fraudulently transferred $ 17,000 in cash to their media company – KLS Media – behind his back.
He is convinced that Spence was helped by his mother.
Dan Spence is not my cousin. This is not the first time this has happened and it must be stopped. & # 39;
Roy Spence, Texas advertising giant that he claimed was related to him
& # 39; They definitely worked as a team for me. Who is moving around with their son like that? & # 39; he said.
Their other victims were Justin Huffman, a landscape architect who worked for them in Nashville.
In 2014 they told him that they had to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the asbestos fund into which others had deposited money.
Huffman personally contributed $ 181,000 and he asked friends to bet an additional $ 150,000 that had disappeared with Spence and his mother.
When he learned that it was a scam, he followed the couple after he put an iPhone in the removal van that they used to skip the city. He confronted them in Texas and waited for him to have his day in court.
High school friends also invested in his schedules.
The father of one said of him: & # 39; He is a modern scammer of scams. Period! I'm surprised he's not dead! & # 39;
Spence was imprisoned in 2015 but was given a probationary period of five years. He broke it by skipping the city, going back to Texas and finally to New York.
In 2018, he lived in an apartment of $ 5,400 a month in Williamsburg with Max, a wannabe actor whom he had duplicated years earlier by thinking he would make him a star.
Spence was first arrested in Tennesse in 2015 and sentenced to a trial period of five years, which he beat on. It is shown around that time, on the left. In 2018, well, he was finally arrested again
The couple had moved there together in November 2017 from Texas. Max was not aware that Spence had rented the apartment to his name of $ 5,400 a month in Brooklyn by forging documents proving that he earned $ 400,000 a year.
By the time he was arrested again in mid-July, he owed $ 50,000 for an overdue rent to the Williamsburg apartment and $ 11,000 to another in Austin, which he had also rented out in Max & # 39; s name.
Max said he couldn't even open a bank account, his credit was destroyed in no time.
It is unclear whether anyone ever reported his mother Mary Delby to the police.
According to his victims, the couple spoke an abnormal amount. His Lyft account was in her name.
Spence is currently in custody in Nashville.
He was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in a case which, according to a judge, should run concurrently with the remaining five years on his probation decision from 2015.
In another case, he finds himself in prison for between six and ten years, and it is unclear whether there are more pending.
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