Sunday 21 January 2018

Maeve Sheehan: Con artist extraordinaire drawn to try his luck in capital of bling

The Age of Indulgence

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

NO society drunk on money is complete without its share of fraudsters and swindlers, and Celtic Tiger Ireland attracted one of the most enigmatic international conmen in the business.

In June 2005, Juan Carlos Guzman Betancourt, 29, walked into the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin's south city, and charmed his way into its most prestigious suites.

He didn't look particularly affluent, in his baseball cap, jeans and T-shirt with the slogan, 'Save Water, Drink Beer'. Though he didn't speak English too well, he was a smooth-talker. Do you speak French, he asked the receptionist, and then explained how he had left his key card in his room. Which room and what name, the receptionist asked.

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