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By | June 18, 2012 26 Comments

Andrew Funches AKA Ty Fortner scams 18 women, yet no one will prosecute

He pleaded that he needed cash—fast—because “Fat Tony” from the Chicago mob was after him to repay a gambling debt. Four different women fell for that story, and others believed they were investing in his insurance business. They all lost their money—possibly $250,000 all together.

Meet Andrew Funches, AKA Ty Fortner, AKA Drew Fortner, AKA Logan Zander—the newest case study on Lovefraud.com. Read:

With multiple aliases but the same scam, Andrew Funches swindles more than 10 women

Victims started seeking each other out via the Internet, and eventually found as many as 18 women who’d been swindled by the same con artist. Ten women are named in official records—lawsuits and Funches’ bankruptcy case. The others never tried to recover their money.

This band of female fighters approached law enforcement officials with a thick file of documentation that Funches/Fortner was a con artist who routinely met women on dating sites and scammed them. And what happened? Nothing.

Problems with “romance scams”

When police and prosecutors are considering whether to go after the perpetrator of a “romance scam,” they face two big problems.

First of all, usually the money isn’t stolen—the person voluntarily gave the money to the con artist. Yes, the victim was deceived, but she still wrote the check or handed over the cash.

Secondly, because the con artist is proclaiming his love, proposing marriage, and painting a glimmering picture of the future, and the victim believes him, she rarely makes the guy sign any kind of loan document or promissory note. So, when she finally realizes that she is just being scammed, she has proof that she gave him the money, but no proof that he ever promised to pay her back. When she goes to the police, or files a lawsuit, he simply claims that the money was a gift.

Frequently, the police and prosecutors see a case with so much “reasonable doubt” that they don’t even bother with it. They don’t want to start a case that they’re unlikely to win.

Jurisdiction issues

The other problem with serial scammers is that because of the Internet, they can find victims in many different cities and states. This means that the cases are often in different jurisdictions.

Funches, for example, had five victims in Minnesota, but each was in a different city. The correct place to report someone like Funches is to the local police department. However, cops only have the authority to investigate issues in their particular communities. So the local police see one woman scammed for a few thousand dollars. They can’t prosecute the guy for swindling five women across the state, let alone 18 women in multiple states.

So who does investigations across state lines? The FBI. But now that the world is constantly on an elevated terrorism alert, the FBI focuses on terrorists and other high-profile crimes. They simply can’t be bothered with women being conned in romance scams.

Fadi Boulos Chaiban

All of this makes it remarkable that detectives in San Diago are looking for women who may have been victimized by a man named Fadi Boulos Chaiban, AKA Eddie Morretti, AKA Anthony Paul Marino, AKA Eddie Baker. This guy defrauded at least two different women of approximately $169,000.

Police say this guy operates throughout Southern California and possibly Las Vegas. Anyone who has been victimized by him or has any further information is invited to call the Detective Jim Johnson of the San Diego police at 619-692-4833, or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. They may even be eligible for a reward.

Read Man accused of wooing, then defrauding women, on UTSanDiego.com.

Exposure works

It’s rare for con artists involved in romance scams to be prosecuted. When they are, they usually receive simply a slap on the wrist.

Therefore, the only way to combat these predators is through exposure. I know for a fact that our True Lovefraud Stories have saved women and men from falling victim to people that we’ve profiled, if they’re dumb enough to keep using their same name.

Andrew Funches has already demonstrated his preference for changing identities. So our story may work for awhile, until he comes up with another name.


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Truthspeak

Donna, thank you for posting this article, as it speaks directly to my current issues. There is a stack of physical evidence of the exspaths forgeries, and I have no delusions that any prosecutor wants to dive into that rotting can of worms.

It seems that there’s a caveat with regard to “romance” related frauds that really can’t be circumvented. “Well, you were in love with the guy and you gave him your credit card, so it’s YOUR fault that he took everything that you had.” Victim-blame seems to be the only view on this, as far as I can see.

What the System doesn’t take into consideration with “romance” frauds is that the victim was betrayed – betrayed – BETRAYED. They were set up, conned, and cast aside with deliberate intention TO defraud. Period. The collateral damage to victims of these crimes is that they are never the same for the rest of their lives, whether they get through their own recoveries, or not. Trust issues, betrayal issues, PSTD, and the whole lot is also perpetrated, by proxy, and these predators should be held accountable for the incredible damages that they deliberately inflict upon others.

Shame, shame……it’s a (*&$% shame.

Truthspeak

Donna, thank you so much for your words of wisdom, hope, and encouragement.

I’m refusing to allow what the exspath did to define me, who I am, or whom I should be. I can’t turn back the clock and rewrite his actions or betrayals. And, I can allow myself to “feel” all of the negativity associated with this – I have a deep-seated fear that allowing an unbridled expression of these negative emotions would be painful to the point that I wouldn’t recover. I know that sounds defeatist, but I’m working my way towards that expression on an inch-by-inch basis. If that makes any sense, I’ll be amazed.

The day that I made my discovery, I made an intention to recover myself. I knew that the marriage was done, but I had no idea how to proceed. But, I sure as heck knew that I wasn’t going to tolerate such deviance in any relationship of which I was a part. The financial discoveries were made long after that – and, that is probably the focus of my anger, at this point.

So……I’m going to recover, and I’ll be okay in due time. I just need to refocus.

Again, thanks, and brightest blessings

Louise

Donna:

Those were the best words ever…thank you.

Back_from_the_edge

Donna: YES! You have absolutely hit the nail right on the head. Only once again, do I thank you. xxoo

Your words have set the tone for the day.

Love ~ Dupey

alivetoday

Donna,

I never thought I would have been one to just hand over my life savings in cash to someone even if I was “in love”.

Thank you for your comforting words and continued direction for healing. The knowledge being gained has been the utmost reward in this experience. Sometimes I look at the loss of money as my tuition fees in the school of life.
thanks again

Ok, here’s a joke to make everyone feel better.

A man travels many miles to consult the wisest guru in the land. When he arrives, he asks the wise man: “Oh, wise guru, what is the secret of a happy life?”
“Good judgement,” says the guru.
“But oh, wise guru,” says the man, “how do I achieve good judgement?”
“Bad judgement,” says the guru.

Ox Drover

Skylar, ain’t that the TRUTH!!!!!! ROTFLMAO I wish I had a dollar for every time I X, Y or Z! LOL Thanks for a chuckle!

alivetoday

Thanks Skylar, loved it!

kim frederick

Love it Skylar.
Here’s another useflu quip. Not sure who said it, but,:
A wise man learns from his mistakes. A brilliant man learns from the mistakes of others.
And just for fun:
A woman dropped her keys out side her front door on a really cold dark night. She felt around for a minute, then went up the street under a street lamp. She bent over, and was looking intently for her keys. A bum happened along and asked her what she was looking for. “My keys,” she told him. “Where did you drop them”, he asked her. “Oh, over there in front of my door, but the light’s so bad there, I knew I’d never find them”. Ha.
Guys, I had a fabulious day!! A lovely sunny, warm day off from work, and I’ve been saving my money for a small portable washer and dryer. I come homw from work at night at 10:30 or 11:00, and get on line and shop. Don’t spend any money just cyber (window) shopping; dreaming of the next thing I’d like to have.
I’ve asked my daughter on about three occasions to take me to the bank so that I could deposit my money in her account and then she can order my W/D with her credit card. Well, she’s really busy, and my W/D isn’t a priority in her life. I also have had a problem corner in my tiny house, because I have No closets, and also did not have a dresser, so my clothes (and books) were piling up on top of my desk. I had been shopping on line for an armoire and a small book case, but, the W/D was my first priority.
I decided to get on my E-bike, today and ride to Walmart and give them cash to order my stuff, but first I stopped in a thrift shop along the way, and found a beautiful triple dresser in maple (I think, but real hard wood and matches my bed.) Also a small book case marked for ten dollars. They wanted 50 for the dresser. I asked if they’d take 50 for both. YES. I didn’t have a clue how I was gonna get it home, but asked them to hold it for a day or two.
Went from there to walmart and ordered my W/D, then went to the diner I work at, for a cup of coffee, and to say hi to the girls. One of our regular customers was there with his forest green Ford Ranger. I asked him if he would help me get my dresser home. YES. I called my (often annoying super controlling) SIL and asked if he’s help. YES. Guess he’s not so bad after all. LOL.
So, my problem corner is now quite lovely, and I’m walking on sun-shine. My daughter has told me how proud she is of me, and you know what? I’m proud of me, too.
Things are looking up.
I think I’m gonna try my hand at making a spinach and porcinni calzone for dinner with a really nice garden salad.
And guess what else? I’ve lost 11 pounds. YAY!!!!

Ox Drover

Kimmie!!! TOWANDA FOR YOU!!!!!! You are getting it girlfriend! I am SO PROUD OF YOU AND PROUD FOR YOU!!!! Thrift stores forever!!!!! LOL I just love browsing in thrift stores and flea markets! All kinds of lovely things there! And I just love the way you offered them $50 for BOTH!!!! Great way to go gal! My kind of shopper!

They sound awesome! What a wonderful day you’ve had for yourself girlie!

I’m up from here and out for my walk, the sun is going down and the temps are falling. The humidity is LOW this year so that’s a plus! At least the feel of the heat isn’t so bad!

I really am proud of you Kimmie! You are proving that you can take care of yourself and don’t need anyone else to do it for you! You are FREE!!!!! Free to be thee! Onward and upward…congratuations for losing 11 pounds too!!!! I’m back on my healthy eating plan as well! Got more to lose though! Back slid and regained a few of the pounds I had lost after the leg injury but I’m back on the “wagon” again!

kim frederick

Oxy, Thank you so much for believing in me.
Sometimes I’m surprised at how happy I am….and I really am. I am far happier than I ever was in relationships with lovers….except, perhaps in the the very brief, but intense, honeymoon phase. I would fall in love, move in and be miserble in the matter of a year or two, but then white knuckle it. hang in, and hope that everything would all work out in the end. Never did. I always set myself up so there was no way out….well. there was, but it was always at great cost, so…..unfortunately, the men were in the same boat. Still a little shakey on whether my x hub was a spath or not. Might have been, but he was just as stuck as I was. We were both infatuated and the sex was good….he was stable, had a good job and wanted me…we met in October and he was being transfered in January, so, being young, we through caution to the wind, and I moved to Ca. with him. BIG MISTAKE.
I would say date someone for at least two years before you do anything that inhibits your sense of self and control over your own life.
I had planned to make x hub a big jar of red pickled eggs for father’s day…had all the ingrediants, but, because of my being stuck in the crazyness and uncertainty about who he is and what he did, I never made them for him. Think I’ll make them for myself.
Anyway, I digress.
For the first time in my life, there is only me to take care of, (and, of course Pinky-doodle, but he doesn’t eat much, and is content with a good corning and back-scratch) and I answer to no-one, except my boss at work. And yeah, I’m not crazy about some of the aspects of my job, and tomorrow I may be whining and complaining, but I have a good boss, and I am happy I can pay my bills, and even treat myself once in a while.
I was sorry to hear about your injury, and also about your sweet puppy, Ox.
As far as losing weight, the only thing I can think of that I’ve been doing differently is that I’m not drinking my calories. No sweet tea, no Coke. Just water.
Love you, Ox. Thanks for being here.

congrats Kim! You’re an inspiration.

Have you considered craigslist for the washer dryer? I’ve seen quite a few recently. Depending on how much you expect to spend, it might even be worth renting a truck to go pick it up. Especially if it’s FREEE!

These days, I never buy anything without checking craigslist first. Why pay more?

kim frederick

Sky, yeah, I’m learning about Craigslist…but it’s all so new to me. I’m happy with my purchase from walmart, though. I have fond memories of you and Tilley (remember her?) and your “Pearls before swine” link, Brilliant. Love, ya, Sky.

Love ya back Kim.
You were one of the first people I connected with when I first landed on LF. I remember laughing up a storm with you for the first time since the spath attack. It made me realize that I could and would be happy again, someday.

My memories of Tily were not so fond though… didn’t she freak out and run away?

Yep Pearls before Swine. Thanks for reminding me of that strip. I haven’t been there for a long while.

kim frederick

Yeah we had fun. Tilley was mad because she was being obnoxious, and alienating everybody, and you posted a link to, “Peals before swine” where there was a cactus lamenting that no one would give it a hug. Brilliant.

OMG!! I had forgotten about that. It WAS brilliant. lol!

anytime you need help on anything computer related, Kim, you can ask me. I’ll try to help if I can.

Ox Drover

Kimmie,

Being INDEPENDENT and self-reliant is probably the best thing in the world. When we are dependent on others it really saps our self esteem….and when we become dependent on someone like your arsehole SIL it really makes life difficult for us because we see no way out.

I’m glad you found your way out….and have your little house, and your job and are independent and self reliant. I knew you could do it, and that once you did it you would be so much happier. the damned drama you were living with would have drive any one as crazy as bat guano. Now you have YOUR space, and your place and if you don’t like the drama you don’t have to put up with it.

Sure we can always use some help here and there….from moving a bit of furniture to fixing some plumbing….but the independence we have when we are not depending on others for the roof over our heads or “owing” someone something….it is worth whatever it takes.

Just like with this up coming surgery…if I asked son C if he would move in until son D gets back and take care of the pigs and dogs and ducks, he would do so, but I would cut off BOTH legs before I would “owe” him anything….but I do have friends who will take care of my outside stuff if I will be able to take care of myself without any help, or I will just wait until son D comes home the first of August to have the surgery. No big deal either way. Or I could call egg donor and ask her if I could stay with her until I get over the surgery. LOL ROTFLMAO Yea, can you see that??? Ha ha

kim frederick

Sky, you have a way about you. Don’t always agree with your set in stone certainty about things, but you are a class act about getting your point across in a very Ghandiesque way. You are very wise about avoiding conflict, and yet, working your way around an issue. You’re my mentor. I just go ballistic, get arrested and have to go to anger management.

kim frederick

Oh yeah, Ox, ask the egg donar for help. Why not just shoot yourself in the leg? Didn’t know you needed surgery. Is there a danger in putting it off? Are you ok til son D comes home?

Kim,
No one has ever said anything like that to me before!

Interesting because I just finished a great book about “set in stone certainty”. It’s about cog/dis.

I do try to see the issues clearly, but don’t always explain what I think clearly. I used to be very dramatic and emotional. Guess who taught me that it doesn’t work? SPATH.

I will admit that I am not certain about many things, most especially my parents. I cry over them constantly. The problem is probably not even them. In a way, the problem is me. I expect them to be perfect, like I always thought they were. But they aren’t. 😥

MoonDancer

Skylar is the Spathinator~!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i was just reading a few of the recent posts this morning and had to tell you all how much i appreciate you. what great support i have been offered and received on lf. some of the people who have been supportive to me are no longer here, but i hope that that means they are doing better and not worse. Every piece of information and sharing of you stories, good humour and caring has gone a long way to helping me out of the abyss, and for that i am truly thankful.

darwinsmom

A new murder trial in Belgium that leaves me baffled.

In 2009, 15 year old daughter Joy had a 17 year old boyfriend Dimitri Lemmens. She and her mother Gwenn Vangestel didn’t get along, or at least the mother must have regarded the boyfriend Dimitri Lemmens a bad influence, and asked her daughter to end things with him.

The two carefully planned a murder on her mother then. The daughter put sleeping pills into her mother’s beverage, then left the door open, and her boyfriend entered with 2 coats on (so not to make his sunday clothes dirty) and a hammer. He murdered the mother with the hammer on the head, about 10-15 blows. The daughter went upstairs after the first blow to the bedroom of her two sisters (twins who are now 11). After her boyfriend Dimitri left, she called the police herself, trying to claim she found her bleeding mother like that, trying to blame some ghostly drug dealers. But their cellphone communication betrayed them. The two of them had messaged each other over 500 times during the night, except for 15 minutes… the 15 minutes of the murder.

Only the boyfriend is on murder trial. He was a minor at the time, but above 16 so the youth court and youth judge was free to decide to let him be tried in adult court. This is not the case for the daughter. She was younger than 15, and by law protected to be brought before adult court, evne though the youth judge found her guilty of the murder on her mother. Instead she has to remain in youth detention until 20.

She’s still a witness though at the murder trial, where she claims her mother beat her, neglected her (not doing the household) and was a drug addict, for which there is no corroborating evidence or witness account of either these claims. But at least the daughter Joy, admits that if she could turn back time she would things different now… What? one of the jury members asked her: she could have contacted her grandparents and go live with them instead, she said. The presiding judge is also annoyed with her, because she changed her accounts a few times (like her mother crying out her bf’s name after the first blow) and answers confronting questions with “I don’t remember anymore” or silence…

The boyrfriend’s account is almost as chilling as the daughter’s… “I didn’t count the blows. She didn’t struggle. Took struggled for breadths and there was blood coming out of her mouth. It made me nauseous, so I left.”

Defene lawyers “hope” for a “lenient” verdict… Sheesh these two planned a cold blooded murder, and then acted it out, and recount it with chilling coldness, still trying to smearing the mother. It’s horrible enough that the daughter will be released in 2 years again, though I accept a line has to be drawn somewhere regarding who gets to go to adult court or not, and that there are always rare exceptions of murderous youngsters who are younger than that age line.

Where is the father in this story? A missing spathic sperm-donor probably and his murderous daughter the genetic legacy?

Frandee

I had him put it in writing the money he owed me but you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip….on top of the fact that he always used to love to tell me horror stories on how he beat people up that got on his wrong side, I was scared, you don’t really know what they are capable with, I do know I wish I had a boyfriend that would be strong enough to back me up and confront him with me!!!! Without a doubt I would go after him!!!

tonicaps

This man is now going by the name Grey. Thank you for this article, you helped me avoid interaction with this man.

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