Man charged over allegedly defrauding women during ‘dates’
A US man is facing 10 felony counts for allegedly sneaking out on dates just before the waiter brings the cheque, authorities said on Monday.
Paul Guadalupe Gonzalez, 45, set up dates across southern California and would enjoy the meals before disappearing, the LA County District Attorney said, according to a news release.
"Eight women purportedly ended up paying the bill themselves, one in the belief that the defendant was going to pay her back, while in two other instances the restaurants picked up the cheque," the prosecutor said in a statement.
ABC News reported that it tried repeatedly to contact Mr Gonzales, but could not reach him. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.
He was reportedly taken into custody on Saturday. If convicted, he faces up to 13 years in state prison, KTLA.com reported.
He pleaded not guilty to extortion, grand theft and other charges.
Mr Gonzales is accused of defrauding the women of nearly $1900.
CBS Los Angeles spoke to an alleged victim.
She said he was "good looking" and she thought: "Why did he choose me?"
"He ordered a salad with shrimp, a filet mignon, yes, he went all out," she told the station.
"All of a sudden he's all, oh, my phone's dying and I'm waiting on the call from my mum about my aunt. I'm going to go to the car to get my charger and then my first comment to him when he got up was oh what, you're not coming back?"
She was stuck with the $177 bill, she said.
"I didn't mention it to the restaurant, nothing. I think I was more embarrassed, my pride was just like, you know, I felt dumb," she said.