Editor’s note: Even former fraud investigators can be fooled by a sociopath. Here’s what a Lovefraud reader says about his experience.
I am a banking attorney, now in the private sector, but formerly conducting criminal bank fraud investigations when I worked for the government. A friend of mine who is a psychiatrist says I am one of the few people he’s ever met who can size up a person accurately within 10 seconds.
However, I am here to tell you from an experience I’ve been going through the last week or so that no matter how intuitive or streetsmart a person is, sociopaths are a breed unto themselves.
I am a gay man and was introduced to my sociopath back in February through my accountant who thought we had a lot in common. The sociopath is an interior designer by trade, but told me about a real estate deal he was trying to put together, to the tune of 40 million plus, to restore one of the legendary estates in the US and reconfigure it into high-end condos. I have to admit I was intrigued by his passion for the project.
We could talk for hours about everything—I tend to be pretty guarded by nature, but I found myself opening up around him. The sexual chemistry was amazing. I also found that he evoked feelings in me that surprised me—I was actually starting to envision a “white picket fence” future with this man and felt incredibly protective of him.
Inconsistencies in the story
Then this past weekend, while he was out, I noticed his wallet on the kitchen table. There were already a few inconsistencies in his story that were nagging at me—and we had only been seriously dating for six weeks. Anyhow, I found a Medicare card, which I found really unusual since he is 41 and I thought you had to be 65 to receive Medicare benefits.
To make a long story short, by the time I finished my investigation I discovered that he had at least 30 unsastisfied judgments against him, going back to 1991, well in excess of $200,000.
He had also told me that his landlord was trying to buy out his lease. No wonder, since the judgment searches revealed that in 2004 the landlord tried to force his way into the apartment and eject him. So, he probably hasn’t paid a penny in rent in years.
When I spoke to the attorneys on the last judgment entered against him in 2005 for $50,000, they told me he not only hadn’t any assets, but he also told them, at the time the lawsuit was filed in 1998, that he was dying of leukemia.
During a rant this weekend, he also mentioned how angry he was at a friend of his who recommended a certain design firm to another friend and how dare she do that when she knew the firm had fired him furing the week his mother had died. I asked a friend who is a designer to get the story for me. It seems he was head of the firm’s designers, but intercepting customer orders as they came in and selling the goods through someone he knew, then stalling the clients. When he was out that week, the firm finally did an inventory check and reviewed customer invoices and figured out what was going on. They didn’t press charges because they didn’t want the bad PR.
Of course, I had let myself get sucked into his vision of redoing this grand estate by this time. I thankfully didn’t open up my wallet, or let him move in. But I did ask a few friends who were bankers to take a look at the project. Once I conducted my investigation, I grabbed the phone, told them what I learned and to spike the project.
All the classic signs. Fortunately, I got out financially intact and with my reputation intact.
My friend who is a psychiatrist told me I should be proud of myself in that I figured him out within six weeks— even trained psychiatrists can get conned by these people longer than that. I have to admit I’m still sorting through all my conflicting feelings. While I realize intellectually that what feelings he had for me are probably pure surface, it still hurts. My friend the psychiatrist told me that this guy probably actually liked me on some level, but also realized that with my background I was going to figure out his game ultimately, and then the jig would be up. I guess that’s a nicer way for me to think about it than to simply think that I was a means to an end.
I’ve come to the conclusion that sociopaths are psychic. Ever since I made my discoveries earlier this week, the last few days he has been bombarding me with phone calls and emails wanting to know if I am okay, etc. and proposing we get together. Mind you, I haven’t brought up any of what I’ve learned with him, since my psychiatrist friend and a police officer friend told me that he could turn violent on me.
Getting these people out of your life definitely poses a challenge. Both suggested that if he doesn’t vanish on his own once he discovers that I’ve outlived my usefulness by not being able to get the banks I sent his business proposal to to come through with the loans, that I tell him that an ex-boyfriend has re-entered the picture and that he is (a) a detective with the NYC Frauds Unit or (b) an FBI agent, the theory being that either will send the sociopath scurrying for the hills.
Anyhow, your webpage serves a real purpose. Keep up the good work. Tell your readers to trust their guts— if something is nagging at them, there’s probably a real reason for it.
I’ve spoken to a few friends this week, and I learned that there’s a real growing trend out there — after a first date, if you like someone and want to see them again, it’s becoming common to run a background check of them through Intellisearch or US Search. I’m now joining that club. If I had known about his chaotic financial history, I would have run for the hills before I ever got involved with him.