Friday 28 April 2017

Face of dating site conman who swindled €19k from 'vulnerable' woman

Alan Custy at Ennis Court
Alan Custy at Ennis Court
Stock image

Gordon Deegan

A vulnerable, trusting woman with low self-esteem issues was ripped off when looking for love online by a heartless conman.

Smooch.com swindler, Alan Custy (39) of Dun na hInse, Ennis hatched a scheme where he stole by deception almost €19,000 from the "vulnerable" woman he met through the dating website over five months in 2013. Counsel for the State, Thomas Rice BL said that the woman lacked "smarts or street-sense" and fell for the lies spun by Custy.

Det Garda Claire O'Shaughnessy told Ennis Circuit Court the woman lives alone and suffered from self-esteem issues when looking for romance online in June 2013.

The 46-year-old Limerick woman is the second online female victim of the scheming Custy who previously received a three-year suspended jail term in February 2012 for blackmailing a married woman who he met on connectedsingles.com.

In that case, Custy posed as a Michael Lynch and in the smooch.com case, the father of two posed as an Alan Casey.

At his sentencing hearing in relation to the smooch.com case, Det O'Shaughnessy said the victim had become suspicious of Custy and contacted gardaí in November 2013 after coming across a newspaper account of his blackmailing case.

However, by that stage, the woman had handed over €18,950 to Custy. The victim said Custy had "completely shattered" her confidence.

The case was adjourned.

Irish Independent

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