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An 82-year-old career scam artist pretended to raise $250K for Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke — then bought himself a Mercedes

An 82-year-old profession prison from California has pleaded responsible to working phony political motion committees for candidates together with Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke and pocketing cash from donors, prosecutors mentioned.

John Pierre Dupont had been charged with defrauding hundreds of donors between 2015 and 2019 by way of sham web sites he ran that presupposed to be elevating funds on behalf of a number of presidential, senate and gubernatorial candidates, federal prosecutors mentioned. Dupont even went as far as to ship thanks notes to donors within the identify of among the candidates he was pretending to characterize, they mentioned.


‘John Pierre Dupont took benefit of hundreds of susceptible particular person donors who believed they have been contributing to causes they believed in.‘


— Audrey Strauss, U.S. Legal professional for the Southern District of New York

Dupont finally raked in additional than $250,000 which he used to finance his personal life-style — together with paying his hire and different payments and shopping for a Mercedes Benz, based on courtroom papers. Not one of the cash ever went to any marketing campaign, and not one of the candidates have been conscious of what Dupont was as much as, prosecutors mentioned. 

“In impersonating campaigns and candidates to lift cash for faux political motion committees, John Pierre Dupont took benefit of hundreds of susceptible particular person donors who believed they have been contributing to causes they believed in,” mentioned Audrey Strauss, U.S. Legal professional for the Southern District of New York. 

Dupont was jailed within the Eighties for defrauding buyers

Authorities say Dupont had legally modified his identify in 2012 from John Gary Rinaldo, an identification he had used whereas perpetrating quite a few monetary scams within the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties in southern California. 

In 1985, he was jailed for defrauding buyers in a as soon as highly-successful house mortgage agency he ran in Orange County that collapsed in a housing bust, based on a 1992 profile within the Los Angeles Occasions.

After being launched, he was later charged with ripping off inexperienced buyers in a high-risk scheme. He was additionally charged with making an attempt to take out a $350,000 mortgage on a house he didn’t personal, and utilizing the cash to purchase gold cash, based on the profile. When he was arrested, he was driving a stolen pink Mercedes, police mentioned.   

Dupont later escaped from a low-security facility he’d been transferred to after testifying towards a former cellmate in a Mafia-related, murder-for-hire plot. He went on the lam for 5 years earlier than being caught once more and was jailed till 1999, based on jail information.

Within the phony political fundraising case, Dupont was launched on $100,000 bond following his arrest in 2019, however failed to seem in courtroom in New York later that month and went on the lam once more for a number of months. He was ultimately taken into custody in Oklahoma the place he’d been hiding, after cops noticed him working a pink gentle, police mentioned.  

Whereas awaiting trial in New York, his lawyer mentioned Dupont had been residing in a nursing house and had been in more and more dangerous well being. He has since been remanded to federal custody and is because of be sentenced on Oct. 21.

Dupont’s lawyer didn’t return a message in search of remark.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/an-82-year-old-career-scam-artist-pretended-to-raise-250k-for-bernie-sanders-and-beto-orourke-then-bought-himself-a-mercedes-11627911761?rss=1&siteid=rss | An 82-year-old profession rip-off artist pretended to lift $250K for Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke — then purchased himself a Mercedes

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