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 $200,000 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 $200,000 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 my 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 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. I also loaned her a few thousand dollars more for other living expenses. 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 $50,000 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 me back the 10K she already owed with interest. She showed me emails from her lawyers to back up what she was saying. So I allowed her to charge my credit cards $50,000 using her business PayPal so she could pay her plea agreement and get her inheritance to pay me back. I had no idea she actually created those email accounts and was impersonating her "lawyers" and dozens of other people to scam me. 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 $50,000 to scam me out of an additional $10,000. And the plea agreement always involved her doing jail time and pleading guilty to a felony for stealing more than 200K 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 Northern 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 at trial 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 $91,784. 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.
BEEN SCAMMED? E-MAIL ME: ConArtistMarianneSmyth@gmail.com
Or Call/Text 213-394-2488
*Both "Johnathan Walton" and "Jonathan Walton" are accepted spellings of my name.
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