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Gay chatroom hustler extorts €865,000

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Gay chatroom hustler extorts €865,000
Photo: DPA
08:11 CET+01:00
A 29-year-old Munich man has admitted to blackmailing an older gay chatroom user for €865,000, driving him to emotional and financial ruin by posing as both a teenage boy and a top prosecutor.

Initially operating under the guise of being a 15-year-old called “Marco”, the suspect approached his 60-year-old victim in an internet chatroom, gaining his trust and eventually convincing him to try to take legal guardianship over him, Die Welt newspaper reported on Thursday.

During this process, the man swindled €125,000 from his victim, who according to case officials had sexual interest in “Marco” at first but this gave way to father-like feelings.

But his main haul came from posing as a chief prosecutor, who was able to blackmail his older victim for €420,000 – an amount that meant he had to sell his house. The suspect reportedly told the man that he had recorded compromising telephone calls and would publish them.

With the money the suspect allegedly bought three cars, a large television, expensive cameras and a number of flights. When police searched his house in 2012 they found €20,000 in cash and paper records of transactions amounting to €177,000.

In the end, the older man confided in a neighbour who convinced him to get the help of the police. “The man was emotionally and financially at the end of his tether,” one of the case investigators told Die Welt.

Until the very end, he believed that the man blackmailing him was a real prosecutor, the investigator added. “It was hard for him to figure out that he fell for and A to Z of made-up stories.”

The victim was allowed to testify behind a wall to protect his identity and was shielded from the public upon entering and leaving the Munich court.

The Local/jcw

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