'Con Man' Faces More Charges
A metro man is accused of conning a deaf woman out of nearly $150,000. Tuesday, he heard the new charges against him in court.
Prosecutors say Austin McDaniels pretended to be a lawyer to steal money from an acquaintance who was deaf. He now faces 13 charges of Theft by Deceit, Extortion, and Criminal Impersonation. McDaniels apparently told the victim he was a lawyer, and she needed to pay him thousands of dollars or she’d be charged with a crime.
“She continued to find ways to come up with money and take out of her retirement, and get the finances to pay what she thought were attorney’s fees and legal fees and a number of other fees that they concocted," said Brenda Beadle, the Chief Deputy with the Douglas County Attorney’s Office.
When the victim figured out he didn't work at a local attorney's office she called authorities. Prosecutors say since May of 2012, a courier picked up envelopes filled with more than $50,000 and delivered them to McDaniels. It happened about 16 times in that span with $1,500-$3,500 in each envelope. The victim says over the course of several years, she's paid $140,000.
"Financially (the loss is) limited to her at least as far as I know but many of his so called friends were taken by a number of his lies over the months and years," Beadle explained.
Police also arrested Chris Story as the man who accepted the envelopes. His attorney says Story is a good man, who had no idea about the scam.
"Mr. Story, did he accept envelopes? Yes, he did accept sealed envelopes but he had no idea any scheme was going. And I think this is a situation where he was trying to help Mr. McDaniels, he didn't know his past," said Story’s attorney, Eric Chandler.
It is still unclear what crimes McDaniels told the woman she committed. A judge set his bond at $100,000.