A man in Los Angeles is facing up to 13 years in prison for taking “financial advantage” of women he mostly met on dating apps, according to LA County prosecutors.
Wondering how did he do it?
Well, he allegedly invited women on dates to expensive restaurants, ordered extravagant meals and then made an excuse and left the premises, leaving the women to foot the hefty bill.
Paul Gonzalez has pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges, including seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion, two misdemeanor counts and one count of grand theft, after he forced at least eight women to cover the check. In two other cases, the restaurant picked up the tab after realizing their date had fled.
The 45-year-old, who has since been dubbed as “dine-and-dash dater,” reportedly racked up more than $950 in total bills that he didn’t end up paying. He had been making headlines for nearly two years before finally being arrested.
One of Gonzalez’s victims recalled the time she entered the restaurant to see he had already ordered food. She said he then ordered another meal with her.
“This guy’s obnoxious. First of all, who orders two entrees? But he excused it by saying he was a bodybuilder,” she told KCAL9 in 2016. “He says ‘I’m going to the bathroom, I’ll be right back’ and he never did.”
Apparently, this is how Gonzalez allegedly scammed free meals out of unsuspecting women.
“He left maybe half a baked potato and then received a phone call and said ‘I need to take this call,’” another woman told CBS2 last year. “The waiter came back and said ‘He’s not out there. Is this a first date?’ And I said, ‘Yes, this is a first blind date,’ and he said, ‘He’s gone.’”
Needless to say, the women who had to pay for his food and drinks were quite happy about his arrest.
“He doesn't have to worry about any meals now. He's gonna get three square meals a day,” a woman told CBS on the condition of anonymity, while another said she was “ecstatic” about Gonzalez facing possible jail time.
“I hope he gets what he deserved,” she said.
Gonzalez, who has also been accused of leaving a hair salon without paying, is reportedly being held on $315,000 bail.
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