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How One Con Guy Used OkCupid For Fun, Fraud, And Revenue

He is a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the creator of a punk band that is seminal. He is one of the most persistent and obsessive grifters to ply the roads of New York City—not to mention internet dating sites—in recent decades.

In which he’d as if you to buy their scheme to bring back trust and credibility into the internet.

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Daniel Kaufman is 37 years of age. He could be from Wayland, Mass., a suburb of Boston. He filed for bankruptcy in Vermont in 1995, as he had been 21. He presently resides in the Manhattan Detention advanced in downtown Manhattan, waiting for arraignment on grand larceny fees. That more or less sums up the information that is definitively true could gather on him, however the lies abound.

Kaufman ended up being arrested by NYPD detectives late final thirty days in Montauk, N.Y. He is accused of defrauding a brand new York advertising that is mobile called CloudMob Media, that he’d conned into employing him as its chief technology officer, away from $20,000.

He presumably utilized the funds to hire a coastline household in Montauk, where he invested a lot of last summer time and fall regaling a complicated social group of New Yorkers—including the editor for this very website—with a never-ending cascade of extravagant lies. He relentlessly trawled the free dating website OkCupid, duping untold variety of females (we talked to 3; their experiences recommend dozens more) into dating him. In which he made it happen all while busily attempting to introduce a fresh social networking that would bring credibility and trust right straight back the online world.

“this person is some fucking piece of content,” states some body we’ll phone Andrew (most of the individuals we talked to with this tale declined to be identified for concern more helpful hints with being publicly revealed as Kaufman’s dupes). “He said he’d been tapped because of the board of AOL to resurrect Netscape being a brand—he that is mobile focusing on it with Steve Case. He’d a LinkedIn profile saying he had been a programmer at Bing. He said he previously this luxury apartment when you look at the Financial District.”

Kaufman’s Montauk crowd knew him as Dan Kay. He called himself that because you will find a page running over with stories from the lastgrift he got caught for—the 2008 “Busted Chef” imbroglio if you google “Dan Kaufman. The Blue Pig, Wine Bar, and Oven in 2008, using his real name, Kaufman managed (and posed as a co-owner of) a foursome of related restaurants in Brooklyn Heights—The Busy Chef. He became a villain that is internet he was caught skimming clients’ bank cards towards the tune of $30,000. The Brooklyn Heights we Blog, the Brooklyn Paper, yet others assiduously covered the dissolution of Kaufman’s invented persona—the voluble and cheerful regional restaurateur—after A busy that is suspicious chef went along to the authorities with proof of the fraudulent acquisitions. All of it tumbled away: He had fled Boston significantly more than $40,000 in debt; he had been “with the capacity of lying to that person while robbing you blind”; he had been a son or daughter in brand New England. Each post on Kaufman’s mendacity attracted a bevy of commenters accusing him of experiencing ripped them down prior to. Following the news broke, their apartment had been ransacked by unknown people.

Kaufman had been such an accomplished fraudulence when this occurs that the person who posted the $50,000 relationship after their July 2008 arrest ended up being one of is own regulars during the extremely restaurant he used to perform their con.

“I was thinking he was an innocent kid getting screwed,” Lucille Goldsmith explained week that is last. “He ended up being an extremely friendly and gregarious man. My better half and he was known by me from likely to supper there. He called from jail and asked for assistance.”

The “Busted Chef” episode finished in February 2010, whenever Kaufman pleading bad to grand larceny. He was purchased to cover $34,000 restitution to Citigroup and American Express, and added to five years probation.

Therefore Dan Kay was created. Following the media attention had were only available in 2008—including coverage of a 2009 event in which Kaufman ended up being accused of stealing a buddy’s bank card and purchasing a dinner at McDonald’s—Kaufman began calling himself Dan Kay and cruising OkCupid for females. Selena Leong (that is her genuine title), a writer that is 36-year-old foodie whom splits her time passed between nyc and l . a ., ended up being one of the many who taken care of immediately him. Their profile, Leong recalls—it has because been deleted—described him as restaurant chef and owner, and stated he had been 6 foot high (he is perhaps not). It showcased pictures of Dan getting together with food-industry kinds, and listed his hobbies as searching, skiing, and snowboarding.

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