What to Know
- John Edward Taylor, also known as Jay, allegedly ripped off multiple women over five years
- Prosecutors say he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in a scheme that involved posing as a wealthy businessman on dating sites
- When the unassuming ladies met him, in hotels or restaurants, they often found he’d forgotten his wallet and credit cards, complaint says
A man who claimed he was a billionaire and an oil tycoon on major dating sites scammed about 15 women out of up to $360,000 in New York and elsewhere, collected naked photos of them and threatened to release them when confronted, the FBI claims.
The FBI's complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York in June 2016, alleges John Edward Taylor, sometimes known as Jay Taylor, ripped off multiple women over five years.
Taylor had a habit of logging onto dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony, Craigslist and Seeking Arrangements and pretending he was a wealthy businessman, the FBI said.
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In one case, he told a victim he was a billionaire, the complaint alleges. In another, he was a wealthy businessman with oil refineries and land interests in North Dakota, the complaint says.
But when the ladies met with their online love interest, in hotels or restaurants, they often found he’d forgotten his wallet and credit card.
Through lies and deceit, Taylor would trick women into relationships in order to steal their identities and get access to their bank accounts, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the complaint.
Some victims turned up to hotel rooms to find Taylor had "forgotten his wallet." Others thought they were being hired by Taylor, then were convinced to put up money for expensive office rentals. Some women just noticed thousands of dollars missing from their accounts.
When they confronted him, Taylor would often then threaten to send naked photos of them to their workplaces, the FBI said.
Text messages from Taylor were seen by the feds telling one of his victims "Have fun at [work]," "I'm sending them all," the complaint said.
Another victim was told: "I'm also sending the pictures to every man that works at your job you know the one that said they want to see you naked there going to" [sic], according to the complaint.
One of his victims was so scared by the threats she sent him another $1,700.
Taylor, who law enforcement sources say was living in his car throughout the alleged charade, was eventually arrested at a country club in Yardley, Pennsylvania. In New York he faces charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and threatening interstate communications.
Attorney information for Taylor wasn't immediately available.