But she told me her name was "Mair Smyth" (One of the 23 aliases she used to scam people, including "Marianne Andle" and "Marianne Welch" I would later discover.)
In this video she goes by the name "Mair Aine" as she tries to convince people she's psychic.
When we met, I had no idea she was actually a professional con artist, on the run from authorities; and I was one of her many "marks". She would end up scamming more than $75,000 from me through an elaborate series of Confidence Tricks. And she scammed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS more from many others.
I'm a former TV News Reporter and I've harnessed EVERY investigative journalistic resource at my disposal for the past 22 months to ferret out the elaborate cons of Marianne Smyth and bring her to justice. I've hired 6 private investigators in multiple States and countries. I've spent countless hours on the phone and online with law enforcement officials across the country and the world. I've gone to courthouse after courthouse pulling records and I've uncovered 39 other victims so far. But I suspect there are more. Many more. At this point I've learned most of Smyth's victims never go to police because they're ashamed and embarrassed they fell for her scams and they don't want their friends and family to find out.
I'm ashamed and embarrassed too. But my desire for justice and my desire to warn people about her is stronger than my shame. Evil only triumphs when good people do nothing. And I have done everything in my power to see that this Con Artist is held accountable for her actions. Will you?
Have you had an experience with Marianne Smyth? Let me help you get justice.
E-MAIL ME: ConArtistMarianneSmyth@gmail.com
My 2 year investigation into Smyth's cons ultimately led me to Northern Ireland where I shockingly discovered Marianne Smyth is actually a fugitive wanted by Police in Northern Ireland for scamming $500,000 from 26 unsuspecting victims there.
She used plastic surgery to alter her appearance when she got to Los Angeles.
Back in 2017 Smyth was CONVICTED of scamming $190,000 from her employer in Los Angeles, Pacific Islands Travel. They busted her using her personal PayPal account she cleverly renamed "Pacific Islands Travel" to scam customers paying for vacations by taking their money into her own account. Click here for: Court Records
No low was too low for this seasoned grifter. Smyth even stole the identity of her own daughter who lives in Tennessee, to lease an apartment in Los Angeles, and then left her daughter on the hook for $15,000 when Smyth was evicted for not paying rent for months. (After her cancer scam backfired)
Smyth also used the fatal illness of her other daughter, who courts took from Smyth as a baby, declaring her an unfit mother, to fraudulently raise $16,460 on GoFundMe in that poor deceased girl's name. I was able to work with GoFundMe to shut that scam down. But here's a screen grab from the fraudulent campaign page before it was yanked.
Smyth's own family disowned her 30 years ago after she scammed dozens of friends and family members in her neighborhood out of thousands by pretending to have cancer and asking for money for "treatments."
But when she arrived in Los Angeles in 2011, Marianne Smyth told everyone she'd meet that she was born in Ireland and was heir to an Irish family fortune. In reality, she was born poor in Bangor, Maine as Marianne Andle and graduated from Bangor High in 1987. I searched and searched and uncovered her yearbook.
But she successfully presented herself as a wealthy Irish heiress for years. Near the end of her Ice Bucket Challenge Video from 2014 she actually thanks her massage therapist! (While trying to execute an Irish-American accent.) That video was shot where she lived at the time HERE where her rent was $5800 per month. This was the lavish lifestyle successfully conning dozens of victims afforded her.
Even running out of nail salons without paying is apparently just par for the course for Convicted Felon Marianne Smyth.
Marianne Smyth is as creative as she is convincing and uses every loophole in the legal system to avoid and delay prosecution. Case in point: After I outed her as a con artist in 2017 while she was being prosecuted for scamming $190,000 from her employer Pacific Islands Travel, her past victims from other scams started showing up to court to confront her. She didn't want to face them so she pulled a "51-50". She took an Uber to a mental hospital (Kedren) and threatened to kill herself. The hospital bought it. And the judge bought it. And she got out of a bunch of court appearances. Still to this day she pulls this suicide scam whenever she wants to avoid court.
I spent 12 months trying to convince and persuade the Los Angeles Police Department to charge and arrest Marianne Smyth for scamming me. It was an uphill battle. I met with them a dozen times and handed over tons of evidence. Finally on April 5th 2018 the LAPD arrested Marianne Smyth and charged her with Grand Theft. Once my case began turning in the giant wheels of the justice system it would take almost two dozen court appearances over the span of 10 months and a total of 6 different Deputy District Attorneys before my Con Artist was made to stand trial.
On Jan 9th 2019 Marianne Smyth was found GUILTY in Los Angeles Criminal Court of scamming me out of $75,000. The jury deliberated a total of 3 hours and convicted her of Grand Theft by Inducement. Four victims testified against her. And a mountain of irrefutable evidence was presented by the prosecution. Smyth did not testify in her own defense and had no witnesses testify on her behalf. She sat in court with no emotion on her face. No remorse. No regret. As witness after witness told the court how she scammed them.
After the guilty verdict, the jury left the courtroom and cuffs were slapped on Smyth's wrists and she was led away to jail. The judge sentenced her to 5 years. She'll have to serve at least 2 .5 years; unless she's a problem inmate then they'll make her serve the full five.
If you've been a victim of Marianne Smyth email me. I can help you. ConArtistMarianneSmyth@gmail.com
05/21/2018 - KABC Eyewitness News reporter Rob Hayes in Los Angeles has the exclusive first story ever reported on Con Artist Marianne Smyth charged with Grand Theft for conning Reality TV Producer Johnathan Walton out of almost $100,000.
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5/25/2018 - When Con Artist Marianne Smyth showed up today in court with crutches, an obvious attempt to curry sympathy from the judge, it left bystanders laughing at her latest scam. KABC Eyewitness News Reporter Rob Hayes was at the courthouse.
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Back in May 2013 I met Marianne Elizabeth Smyth where I live in my apartment building in downtown Los Angeles. But she introduced herself as "Mair Smyth" to distance herself from her former scams attached to her legal name I would later learn. She was a new neighbor and she quickly became my best friend. I had no idea she was lying about who she was. Or that she was a professional con artist on the run from authorities in Northern Ireland.
We live in a nice building. Full of professionals; doctors, lawyers, TV Producers, so we assumed Smyth was a professional too and in fact it appeared that she was. She worked for a luxury travel agency - Pacific Islands Travel. She would later be convicted of stealing more than $100,000 from Pacific Islands Travel. Click here for Court Records.
Smyth was super nice and giving to my husband and I right off the bat. She lavished us with gifts, wined and dined us at fancy restaurants. She came off like a woman with considerable wealth. And that's how she set the stage for the con coming up...
When I confided in her that a member of my immediate family had disowned me because I was gay, she pounced. "My family disowned me too." she sighed with tears in her eyes. "Because they're trying to disinherit me from the family trust." Smyth used her family disowning her as a ploy to get even closer to me. She knew I'd feel a camaraderie because of my own family situation. And that was her plan. Smyth claimed she stood to inherit millions of dollars because her family’s trust in Ireland was being dissolved. She said her Uncle died and the family was dividing up a $25 million euro estate. She said she would get $5 million euros which at the time would have been close to 7 million USD. She said her family in Ireland owned a lot of land. "They're Irish Royalty" she claimed. And one of her great uncles actually signed the Irish constitution. She actually had a printed and framed copy of the Irish Constitution hanging in her living room and she would reference it frequently. "That's my Uncle's signature." she'd proudly point out. I had no idea it was just a brilliant prop she had made. She said her family in Ireland was a very powerful political family with IRA connections. But she said her family hated her, especially her cousin Fintan and there’s a clause in the trust that if any heir is convicted of a felony they will forfeit the inheritance. The tale she wove was elaborate and very, very detailed. She established this story 14 months before she ever asked me for anything. I believed her because she quickly became my best friend in the ensuing years and I had no reason to doubt her. But this story turned out to be a huge lie to bait me for the real scam she was cooking up.
14 months after she solidly established her wealthy family inheritance story, she said her wealthy family, who did business with the luxury travel agency she worked for (Pacific Islands Travel), paid off its owner, Jean Patrick Mouflard, to set Smyth up to make it look like she stole more than $100,000 so they could disqualify her from the inheritance and keep her $5 million euros for themselves. She was fired, arrested and charged. I paid her bail. She was my best friend at the time and I believed her and I wanted to help her get her inheritance. I’m a happily married gay man and my husband and I were only helping Marianne Smyth because she was our best friend. Two days later she paid me back the $4200 in bail money. So we trusted her as woman of her word even more. And that was her plan all along. Turns out she scammed that $4200 from the married guy she was dating at the time to pay me back. She also scammed another $5,000 from another neighbor in our building saying she needed it to pay me back. But I was already paid back. That was just extra scam money for her to keep. And she brilliantly made sure I'd never happen to talk to this neighbor by telling me frightening lies about her. That this neighbor was a felon on the run from the law in Canada. That she had close ties to organized crime. That she's had people killed. So I avoided this neighbor like the plague so she never got to tell me that she loaned Smyth 5K to pay me back which would have unraveled the beginning of all Smyth's fantastic stories.
In 2014 she moved into a new ritzy apartment building. 717 Olympic. But within months she had what appeared to be a psychological, hysterical meltdown. She told me, with rivers of tears streaming down her face, that prosecutors in the Pacific Islands Travel case, working in concert with her wealthy Irish family, froze her bank accounts so she can’t pay rent. She said she had way more than $50,000 in a Bank of America account that was frozen. And she had her wealthy family’s $5 million euro inheritance coming to her very soon. She was my best friend at the time. She asked me to borrow money to pay rent. So I paid her rent at 717 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 for one month $5800 and I paid $3500 to help her move into a cheaper place. She said as soon as she got her 5 million euro inheritance she would pay me back. She had already paid me back the $4200 bail money so I trusted her. Yup, I was a sheep getting led to slaughter.
In 2016 she said her lawyer worked out a deal for the Pacific Islands case to go away. All she’d need to pay is $54,000 and she would do no jail time and would not be convicted of a felony. She also kept mentioning that her inheritance was coming soon and she’d have a lot of money to pay us back the 10K she already owed us with interest. I was desperate to get that 10K back and I feared if I didn't help her I never would. So I allowed her to charge my credit cards $54,000 using her business PayPal so she could pay her plea agreement and get her inheritance to pay me back. Then all of a sudden she told me the judge in her case got angry at her because I allowed her to charge my credit cards. She said he considered it money laundering and was going to punish her with a 30 day jail sentence. She assured me it was not a felony. Just a "slap on the wrist" and she’d be receiving her $5 million euro inheritance in a few weeks so she could pay me back.
So while she was serving 30 days in jail, since she was my best friend, I wanted to visit her in jail. Over the phone she begged me not to. But I insisted. That’s when I logged onto the jail’s website to schedule a visit and started to discover the truth. She was convicted of a felony. It said it on the jail's website clear as day. That prompted me to go to the LAX Courthouse and pull ALL her court records. I then discovered she was lying to me about EVERYTHING. The plea agreement was for $40,000… but she told me $54,000 to scam me out of an additional $14,000. And the plea agreement always involved her doing jail time and pleading guilty to a felony for stealing more than 100K from Pacific Islands Travel. She told me there would be no jail time and no felony conviction so she could still inherit her family’s money and pay me back.
I hired a private detective at that point and her house of cards blew down fast. I learned the prosecution did not freeze her bank accounts. That was a lie. And there is no wealthy Irish family or inheritance. That was a lie. She's not even Irish! She was born in Maine and grew up in Tennessee, where as a young woman she told everyone in town she had breast cancer to scam her family and friends out of thousands of dollars for her fake "cancer treatments".
I then found her family in Tennessee and called them up and they told me Smyth has been a lying, cheating, con artist ever since she was born. Her family HATES her because of it and they want NOTHING to do with her. Smyth’s brother said "If I see her I'm going to shoot her in the head." The family said Smyth was obsessed with wanting to be Irish. So much so that back in 2000 she sought out Irish guys online and started a long distance relationship with one. Stephen Smyth. She went to Ireland on vacation to see this guy. And ended up staying there and marrying him.
I started a blog about what happened to me and victims from all over Los Angeles and the freaking WORLD began contacting me.
A Police Detective from Northern Ireland called me. Authorities in Belfast have been looking for Mair "Marianne Smyth" for YEARS. He said Smyth worked in mortgages back in 2008 in Northern Ireland. She took payment of $120,000 pounds for a house and then disappeared with the money. She also scammed thousands more from 6 other people who took out mortgages from the company she worked. The detective also said she scammed a few thousand pounds (dollars) from other neighbors and people she befriended in her town using crazy made up stories. Then she disappeared with all the money.
The Los Angeles Police investigated my case for a year and filed criminal charges against her and on January 9th 2019, Marianne Smyth was found GUILTY in Los Angeles Criminal Court. The jury deliberated a total of 3 hours and convicted her of Grand Theft by Inducement for scamming me out of $75,000. Four victims testified against her. And a mountain of irrefutable evidence was presented by the prosecution. Smyth did not testify in her own defense and had no witnesses testify on her behalf. She sat in court with no emotion on her face. No remorse. No regret. As witness after witness told the court how she scammed them.
After the guilty verdict, the jury left the courtroom and cuffs were slapped on Smyth's wrists as she was led away to jail. The judge sentenced her to 5 years. She'll have to serve at least 2 .5 years; unless she's a problem inmate then they'll make her serve the full five.
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Bob was her last known boyfriend and almost her BIGGEST victim. Mair "Marianne Smyth" was actually in the process of drawing up paperwork for Bob to add her name to the title of his two homes!
Thankfully, someone printed out my blog and showed it to him and when he brought it home to confront Mair "Marianne Smyth" (who was staying at his house for a few days) she didn't say a word, ran out of the house and never came back.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" met Bob on Tinder in late 2016. On their 1st date, after Bob confided that he was in a custody battle with his ex-wife over his kids… Mair told him, as luck would have it, her day job was as a “730 expert” which is a court appointed child custody investigator. And she offered to help Bob get a better custody arrangement with his kids. Which of course was lie. In reality Mair was a Con Artist working as a Psychic for a company she created called "Orchid Psychics". Here's her yelp page:
So like all professional con artists do, she offered to "help" her next victim Bob from the very beginning in an effort to engender trust. And it worked like a charm.
Soon Bob started receiving text messages from “Heba Matta” an attorney that was supposedly working with Mair "Marianne Smyth" to help Bob with his custody situation. Turns out… Mair was using a google number to impersonate Heba Matta, who is actually a real District Attorney in Los Angeles and the sister of a former client of Mair’s Orchid Psychic business, so that's how she knew just enough to impersonate her.
This is the California State Bar's website showing that Heba Matta is actually a real person that Mair was impersonating to Bob.
Wouldn’t you know, Heba claims via text (and Mair "Marianne Smyth" corroborates in person) that they have found a ton of dirt on Bob’s ex-wife. Mair posing as Heba via text claims to have tapped the ex-wife’s cell phone and is doing intense surveillance on her. Mair and Heba via text tell Bob his ex-wife is running a BDSM sex club out of her house while Bob’s kids are in the next room and a ton of other crazy stuff. Bob is alarmed but pleased at the thought of getting full custody of his kids and rescuing them from that sex club house. Of course this was all a story Mair created to get closer to Bob. And it worked.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" knew Bob and his son were huge hockey fans so she told him her good friend is Garth Snow, the GM of the New York Islanders. Mair would show Bob text messages from Garth to prove it. And eventually Bob started getting text messages from Garth too. Bob was pretty disappointed when Garth, who was supposed to meet him at his church one day… never showed. Something came up. Something always came up. Something always does when you’re dealing with a figment of Mair’s imagination. Bob realized It was Mair who was impersonating Garth Snow via texts and emails the whole time.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" then tells Bob about her wealthy Irish family and a $25 million inheritance she’s going to receive soon. And Bob, like the other people she scammed, believed her. Why wouldn't he? One day Mair shows Bob a $12 million house she says she’s going to buy with her inheritance money. She says she wants to put Bob’s name on the title and co-own it with him. She contracted a realtor and actually looked at this mansion, which has since sold to a real buyer, multiple times with Bob. She even ordered a home inspection and was about the go into escrow because her 25 million dollar inheritance was coming any day.
For the record, Mair "Marianne Smyth" is not from Ireland. She was born in Bangor, Maine and grew up in Tennessee. There is no wealthy Irish family and there is no 25 million dollar inheritance. But she cleverly convinced Bob there was and that she'll be receiving her 25 million dollar inheritance any day now and that she wants to buy a 12 million dollar home and put his name on it because she loves him.
“That’s crazy” Bob says. “If our relationship goes south I’ll own $6 million worth of your home! That’s not right.” Bob says. To which Mair artfully replies “OK. If you put my name on the title of both the homes you own we’ll be even.” So Mair drew up papers and was about to get Bob to add her name to the title of the two homes he owns... when fate intervened.
Bob’s ex-wife was curious about the woman in her ex-husband’s life because Mair was about to formally meet their kids… that’s when his ex-wife found my blog online by googling "Mair Smyth" - printed it out and shared it with Bob... who then came home and confronted Mair.. who then immediately ran out of the house and left without saying a word.
Turns out... Bob was supposed to be the BIG CATCH. Can you imagine if he had put Mair's "Marianne Smyth's" name on the title of the two homes he owns? She would own them too. And he'd have to pay her out to "buy" them back from her.
Sarah was Bob's nanny that "Mair" aka "Marianne Smyth" got fired by telling Bob she's a drunk and a bunch of other crazy made-up stories to paint her as irresponsible and untrustworthy. Smyth wanted Sarah out of the picture so Bob would lean on Smyth to help with his kids so she could better insert herself into his life and take his two homes in Newport Beach. Sarah took care of those children since they were babies and being fired devastated her. Smyth then "hired" Sarah as an apprentice to her life coaching scam. And let her listen to her clients' recorded sessions without their consent, unbeknownst to Sarah. Of course Smyth was not really a Psychologist or Therapist. She pretended to be so that she could "treat" patients, get all their personal information and secrets and use to scam them. Also... to get Sarah to move on and not beg for her job back... Mair included ME in her scam. I'm a TV Producer. So Smyth told Sarah I was looking to hire a tutor to be on set for some kid and that it was part of a reality show so she'd be on camera.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" was dating a married Los Angeles politician for a few years. He obviously wishes to remain anonymous. I've spoken to him numerous times. Even double dated with him and Smyth before either I or he knew we were getting conned. Early in their relationship he confided in Mair that he once had a crazy mistress named Jen years before.
So right when he was running for re-election, Mair "Marianne Smyth" impersonated this crazy mistress named Jen using fake email accounts and texts from fake google phone numbers threatening to go public with their past affair to destroy the married politician's chances of winning his election. So Mair "Marianne Smyth" pretending to be a supportive girlfriend, agreed to "help" her married politician boyfriend by hand delivering $50,000 in cash to this past mistress as hush money in another state and get a non-disclosure agreement signed by Jen the former mistress.
The politician later found out that it was Mair "Marianne Smyth" impersonating former mistress Jen all along and shortly there after he dumped her. But he never reported it to police. He is, after all, a married man with a wife, family and political career to protect. And that's how she keeps getting away with her scams. FYI... that nondisclosure agreement is null and void because the real "Jen" never actually signed it. Only the fake "Jen" aka Marianne Smyth, who at that point had an extra $50,000 cash to spend on expensive plastic surgeries that left her arms, legs and stomach scared, rippled and gross. Karma? Maybe a little.
At one point Mair claimed to be dating her version of Big (Sex and the City references anyone?) for nine years. But I interviewed Big at length, he wants to conceal his identity, and Big only knew Mair "Marianne Smyth" for 4 years. Big eventually wanted nothing to do with her after he discovered all the text messages and e-mails he was supposedly receiving from her "wealthy family" in Ireland dangling a lucrative job offer that never seemed to pan out were actually coming from fake google voice accounts and fake e-mail accounts that Mair created. By then she had scammed 21K from him... most of it going to repair a roof on one of her many estates in Ireland. Which was another lie Mair invented. Big would later learn Mair wasn't even from Ireland. She was born in Bangor, Maine. During their association, Mair told Big she was good friends with Jennifer Aniston, and showed him text messages from Jennifer to prove it... a story she would use again and again with other victims.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" told the guy she was dating for a couple months, Chris, that she was good friends with Jennifer Aniston too. And she'd show him text messages from Aniston to prove it. Since Chris worked in TV Production Mair was telling him Jennifer freaking Aniston was interested in working with him. It was great bait to be sure. But Chris eventually figured out those Jennifer Aniston text messages were actually coming from a Google Voice account that Mair herself created to text HERSELF as Jennifer Aniston. Then he dumped her. He figured it was a major red flag. BOY DID HE DODGE A BULLET. Smyth's con in this case never got off the ground.
Mair "Marianne Smyth", met Jonathan on Tinder. He's a well to do businessman in LA. At one point, Mair, using another Google phone number, impersonated a client of hers, a Studio Exec, who worked at a big movie studio here in LA to try and get Jonathan, the wealthy guy she was dating to pay $15,000 for some tickets to a major awards show. His young daughter really wanted to go this star-studded awards show. And he was going to surprise her with tickets. The Studio Exec had no idea Mair was doing this. She has since hired a lawyer and is pursuing a case against Mair for impersonating her. Jonathan never actually handed over the $15,000. He got a weird feeling about it at the last second and changed his mind. But then, Mair, pretending to be The Studio Exec via text sent a lot of lewd sexual advances to Jonathan to create drama. When The Studio Exec found this out she was FURIOUS.
Robert was dating Mair "Marianne Smyth" for a few months then dumped her after he discovered she was using Google Phone Numbers to text him and other people in his life to cause drama. He would then see her in his neighborhood at all hours stalking him, putting chicken bones in his mailbox as part of some "spell" she was casting to get him back. So Robert filed a restraining order. After he dumped her all his drama went away.
Mair "Marianne Smyth" dated Michael for a few months on the cusp of 2016-2017. He's of Irish descent. And Mair convinced him she was dying of cancer and needed his help to take over her multimillion dollar trust in Ireland so he could take care of her daughter financially after she dies. Her cousin Fintan was arranging a trip to Ireland to meet Michael. Of course it was actually Mair emailing and texting Michael pretending to be "Fintan". At some point Michael got suspicious and dumped her. Then one of Fintan's hired guns (another character Smyth impersonated via text) told Michael that Smyth had died. LOL. Before her death she was pressuring Michael to send her his legal name and SS# etc. so she could help him get a passport to travel to Ireland. With Smyth's history of applying for credit cards in people's names and charging up thousands... it's a good thing Michael didn't give her any info.
PACIFIC ISLANDS TRAVEL
Marianne Smyth sold luxury vacations at Pacific Islands Travel for a couple years. She cleverly created a personal PayPal account using the words "Pacific Islands" in the name and took customer's vacation payments into her personal bank account. She eventually got busted by the cops and was convicted in a Los Angels courtroom for stealing close to $200,000 over 2 years. COURT RECORDS HERE
6-7-18 - The Daily Times - Blount County, Tennessee
A former Maryville woman is set to appear in a Los Angeles court on charges of grand theft after she allegedly played an elaborate series of confidence tricks to steal more than $75,000 from a man over the course of years.
Marianne Elizabeth Smyth — who has at various points gone by Mairaine O’Clerigh, Marianne Andle and close to a dozen other aliases — is accused of being a lifelong con artist by Johnathan Walton, a reality TV producer behind shows like “Shark Tank” and “American Ninja Warrior.”
Walton met Smyth in 2013 and until last year believed she was a royal Irish woman being cheated out of an inheritance worth millions by her estranged family.
In reality, she was born in Maine and raised in Maryville, and had through the years racked up a long rap sheet of fraud-related charges across the country, including Blount County, records show.
Walton’s suspicions were raised after Smyth was convicted in 2017 of embezzling close to $200,000 from her former employer, the L.A.-based travel agency pacificislands.com. After hiring a private investigator, he claimed he discovered the truth.
Now he is making a documentary about his ordeal and said he has found dozens of victims across the country.
Additionally, police in Northern Ireland are seeking Smyth after she allegedly conned several neighbors and an employer out of thousands of British pounds while she lived there for several years in the 2000s.
By Christopher Woodhouse - August 30 2018
A serial American con artist who swindled a Los Angeles travel agency may have victims in Northern Ireland.
Marianne Smyth, who has served jail time for embezzling £155,000 from the firm, is believed to have worked as a mortgage adviser here in 2008.
One of her victims in the US, Johnathan Walton, wants to track down anyone here who thinks they may have been conned by Smyth.
The LA-based reality TV producer told Sunday Life he wants anyone who may have lost money to Smyth to help with his ongoing case against her.
He has also taken out an advert with this newspaper (below) with contact details for anyone who wishes to get in touch. Mr Walton says he was duped into lending her money with a tale of an inheritance due from her “Irish royalty” family but ended up $100,000 out of pocket. He is now pursuing her through the courts to recover the money.
“The majority of Smyth’s victims are usually too ashamed and embarrassed to come forward,” he said.
“Sharing my story and finding other victims has been so healing and therapeutic for me and makes me feel less like a victim and more like a vigilante.” He added: “The fact that I went public with my story initially on my blog and was contacted by other victims who I saved from her by publishing the truth, they were able to cut ties and not get scammed.”
Mr Walton believes she may have duped over 20 people during her time in Northern Irelandhere working as a mortgage adviser. He met Smyth in 2013 and she managed to convinced him she was due to inherit €5 million from a family trust, describing her roots as “Irish royalty”.
Smyth convinced him to pay her rent during her case for stealing $190,000 from Pacific Islands Travel in LA, which she claimed was a set-up. Mr Walton believed her tale and even paid her $4,200 bail, which she reimbursed.
Following her conviction, Smyth (below) told him that if she paid back $54,000, she would not have to serve jail time, so he lent her the money — but this was a lie. After discovering her deceit, Mr Walton engaged a private detective to find out the truth, which was that she was born in the state of Maine, not Ireland, and grew up in Tennessee.
Around 2001, Mr Walton says she moved to Northern Ireland after meeting a man from here online and worked for a mortgage firm.
He says police here have been investigating over 20 possible instances of fraud and have been in correspondence with a detective about the case. In May, Smyth appeared in court in Los Angeles on a charge of grand theft in relation to the money she scammed from him, which he estimates to be around $100,000.
Belfast Telegraph Digital
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