Michael McDougal Winter Garden, Florida man arrested trying to extort woman he met on dating app. A history of other prior victims.
A Florida man with a prior criminal history as been busted after stealing $3,000 from a woman he met on a dating app – and then demanding she send him nude photos of herself in order to be repaid, police said.
Michael William McDougal, 35, posed as a man named Michael Reynolds on Plenty of Fish while getting acquainted with his victim, who lives in Orlando, police said.
The pair moved the conversation to Facebook, where Michael McDougal said he needed to borrow $1,000 after losing his bank card, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The woman lent McDougal $3,000 over the course of several days.
He promised to pay her back, but notifications she received from PayPal were bogus, according to a police affidavit cited by the Sentinel.
Investigators said McDougal, of Winter Garden, later messaged the woman using his real name in an attempt to ‘clear up’ any of the victim’s ‘confusion’ about his alter ego, which she assumed was a real person, according to cops.
But there’s more.
A history of extortion: ‘Mike McDougal Victims United’
McDougal claimed he could cover the victim’s losses out of sheer ‘generosity,’ offering to pay her $5,000 if she sent nude photos to his cousin, police said.
The victim agreed, only to ask the woman for even more money, threatening to report to police that she sent nudes to an underage teen – McDougal’s 16-year-old cousin, police said.
The woman ultimately went to cops in early February.
McDougal, who was convicted of fraud in 2015, initially insisted she was lying, but failed to show up to a meeting to show a detective proof of his claims, police said.
He also downplayed a “Mike McDougal Victims United” Facebook page created by people who say he schemed them out of money, police said.
Posted one woman on the group: ‘… he tried to get me several times..showed me a make believe bank account with 37,000 dollars and asked if I could give him money til his money cleared..’
Commented another, ‘He has no limits. He will do it to child hood friends, family, strangers. Any one he can con out of their hard earned money.’
McDougal once again insisted it was all a misunderstanding.
‘Again, McDougal stated it’s all a big misunderstanding,’ Orlando police Det. Annemarie Esan wrote.
The Facebook group, created in 2013, had 75 members as of Tuesday.
McDougal, who was arrested Thursday on charges of extortion and scheme to defraud, has been released from custody after posting $4,500 bond. If convicted, he face up to 20 years in prison.