Home Scandal and Gossip Romance scammer, 70, accused of bilking $1.8M from U.E.S women

Romance scammer, 70, accused of bilking $1.8M from U.E.S women

Nelson Counne NYC man accused of swindling $1.8M from woemn
Nelson Counne NYC man aka worst boyfriend of the U.E.S accused of swindling $1.8m from women.
Nelson Counne NYC man accused of swindling $1.8M from woemn
Nelson Counne NYC man aka worst boyfriend of the U.E.S accused of swindling $1.8m from women.

Nelson Counne, NYC man, 70, accused of bilking $1.8M from U.E.S women after purporting to be wealthy art collector and investor who had residences in well to do locations all over the world. He didn’t even own a passport. 

Because most women can’t resist their hypergamous nature for riches, provision, resources & status — even if it’s too good to be true.

A 70 year old NYC man accused of scamming at least five ‘well to do’ Manhattan women out of more than $1.8million after meeting them on dating sites appeared in court earlier this week.

Nelson Counne, 70, was arraigned on two counts for grand larceny in the second degree, and one in the third degree as well as fraud at Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday.

He told his alleged victims that he was a wealthy art collector and investor, before allegedly hoodwinking them into making hefty investments in his non existent companies.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that the incidents date back to 2012, with Counne only arrested on March 13 this year, with the alleged con-man denying the allegations against him according to PIX11

Worst boyfriend on the Upper East Side

Counne was previously branded him as ‘the worst boyfriend on the Upper East Side,’ according to an April, 2022 expose by the New Yorker – which traced the serial dater’s alleged scams over the course of a decade in which he preyed on well to do Upper East Side women, presumably seeking the company of a panache moneyed player. 

Judge Gregory Carro ordered Counne, who pleaded not guilty, to be held on $150,000 cash bail or a bond of up to $750,000 pending a return court appearance on May 3.

The suspected con artist would meet women on Our Time, which catered to an older clientele, before bragging about his homes in London, Florida and Saint-Tropez as well as a huge mega-mansion apartment close to Central Park – 35 East 63rd Street.

Could it all be too good to be true? 

The NYC man who himself lived in a non distinguished U.E.S apartment for over the last 25 years and who had never left the United States, let alone ever possessed a passport according to the dailymail would use the alias Nelson or Justin Roth in his schemes, telling his alleged victims that he had access to the Alibaba Group and a start-up company which Counne claimed he co-owned with a former Google executive.

Could it all be too good to be true? 

Soon into the new relationships the alleged romance scammer would start pitching women investment opportunities, with some claiming to the New Yorker that he would also steal their jewelry to gift to his new love interests.

Along with dating apps alleged swindler targeted his victims at luxury venues

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Kofi Sansculotte said in court: ‘In the end, almost all of Counne’s representations proved to be false.

‘He was not independently wealthy and the only funds into his accounts were from confirmed and suspected victims of his romance scams.

‘Further, the money put into his accounts by the victims were never used for any investments but were instead used to perpetuate the illusion of his wealth to new victims and to repay previous victims who had detected his fraud.’

Prosecutors told of Counne using dating apps as well as targeting women in luxury hotels and restaurants – including five-star UES hotel Carlyle and the Surrey.

Victims told of meeting the alleged conman in well to do venues, Campagnola, Bemelmans Bar and the Orsay restaurant during their dalliance with him.

Once women started making initial investments, prosecutors claimed Counnes victims would then give him more money for expenses and salaries for staff.

Criminal history dating back to 1987

The defendant claimed that his funds were tied up in investments, or that his accounts were frozen due to U.S. and European investigations into his financial activities.

He promised to repay each of the victims their initial investment plus a substantial profit within a few weeks.

Could it all be too good to be true?

Last year Counne was also charged with scamming a Greenwich, Connecticut woman out of $500,000, according to the Connecticut Post

During Monday’s court session, the indicted man’s lawyer told Manhattan Supreme Court that her client is an ‘elderly man’ who always appeared in court when required (at the very least!).

Dannielle Von Lehman added that her client’s criminal history dating to 2007, while declining to provide details.

In 1987 Counne was indicted for the murder of a jewelry dealer, for which he was later acquitted – with the alleged conman then being shot multiple times in the chest three years later.

Assistant DA Raymond Castello said that a family member of the jewelry dealer who had been killed, was ‘some kind of karma for his past deeds’ according to the New Yorker.

The article in the New Yorker details Counne’s relationships with at least four women, dating back to 2000.

Could it all be too good to be true? 

All of the women say they met hinm in the Upper East Side, and Counne presented himself as a ‘mysterious’ man who had a lot of money and access. 

Counne has also found himself battling against a civil case, which was lodged in 2022, where he was accused of ‘owing money to the plaintiff for loans’.

It is unclear if the plaintiff, another woman, is one of the five referred to in the criminal case. Her lawyers are seeking at least $1million in interests, costs and expenses as well as damages.

DA Bragg added: ‘As alleged, Nelson Counne’s sole source of income for the past eight years was money he swindled.

‘He allegedly fed lie after lie to women he falsely claimed to have a romantic interest in, enticing them with investment opportunities that never existed while using their funds to repay past victims, lure in new ones, and fund his lifestyle.

‘We urge everyone to exercise caution when told there’s an investment opportunity that seems too good to be true. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam, we are here to help – call us at 212-335-8900.’