A 35-year-old dog walker was indicted on Tuesday for apparently stealing thousands of dollars from two women he met through Tinder, telling them he needed the cash to pay for relatives’ cancer treatments, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Brandon Kiehm was accused of claiming he worked in the financial industry, repeatedly asking the women for money and apparently admitting to using some of it to gamble with.
“The classic dating scams of yesteryear appear to be thriving online,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. “My Office is seeing an increase in the number of scammers targeting singles online. I urge New Yorkers to be on alert when using these applications, and to be wary of those who would take advantage of personal relationships for financial gain.”
Kiehm was charged with third-degree grand larceny, identity theft, and a scheme to defraud. He was released without bail. An attorney for Kiehm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kiehm met his first victim in July 2015, and dated her for several months, according to court records. He apparently gave her a fake name and told her he worked at Goldman Sachs.
As Kiehm wooed the woman from August to October he started pressing her for money, according to court records. He said his sister was undergoing cancer treatment and that his wallet was stolen.
The woman gave in and handed over about $20,000, court records show. When she asked for her money back, Kiehm allegedly gave her two checks for $30,000 — but when she went to cash one, it bounced.
In October, Kiehm allegedly moved on to a second victim, also using a fake name. After dating her for a few weeks, Kiehm made up an elaborate lie: his mother was undergoing cancer treatments, and he had been robbed.
The second victim handed over $17,000, with the promise that he would pay her back. Again, he is accused of repaying her with two checks worth about $10,000 — that later bounced.
Kiehm was also charged with stealing debit card information belonging to one of his dog walking clients, using it to open a Venmo account in July, and charging $13,000 to it.