An Arizona man will spend nearly 16 years in prison after he was convicted of running a scam targeting vulnerable women on online dating sites, gaining their trust and affection so that he could bilk them of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent loans.
Daylon G. Pierce, also known as Daylon Jung, was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, ABC 15 reported.
Starting in 2013, Pierce signed up for a slew of dating websites – including Match, PlentyOfFish, and Tinder – and seduced a slew of women, all of whom claim that the con artist inquired about their credit score at some point.
One victim, Tara DeGrazia, recalled that Pierce asked her about her credit score and whether she could afford to purchase a house or a car in her current situation. He told her that he could help her money in lucrative schemes so that she could pay off her student loans, but instead pocketed the cash for himself.
“I had just gotten a divorce,” DeGrazia said. “I was vulnerable and he ‘wowed’ me.” Officials claimed that Pierce used his illicit earnings to live large at casinos, nightclubs, and strip clubs, while no records of him ever becoming a licensed stockbroker could be found.
Another victim, Rose Reddy, described how Pierce maintained a luxurious lifestyle that saw him drive expensive cars and purchase several homes. When she was in his presence, he would make fake phone calls to convince Reddy that he was investing her money properly.
“When you went over to his house, he had it all,” she said. “The closet all organized, all the colored shoes. He had everything covered that you would ever question.”
One victim handed over $240,000, including part of her 401K proceeds; another victim took out a $100,000 loan on the promise that Pierce would secure a high rate of return.
This was not Pierce’s first brush with the law: records show that he was released from prison in 2013 after serving a 13-year sentence for theft, trafficking theft, and gang activity. He was also on federal probation for bank embezzlement.