By September 21, 2009 39 Comments Read More →

Victory, of sorts, against the sociopath

Dennis SanSeverino is in jail. Trish Rynn, from whom he scammed more than $350,000, put him there. How did she do it? Legwork and persistence.

Lovefraud initially posted this case on our True Lovefraud Stories page in February 2008. The headline is, First he flashes wads of cash, then he steals her home and inheritance. That pretty much sums up what happened to Trish Rynn.

Unfortunately, Lovefraud has heard from plenty of people with similar experiences. They fell in love with the sociopath, trusted him or her, and lost everything. The difference with this case, however, is that Trish Rynn fought back. She reported him to New Jersey law enforcement authorities and actually got him prosecuted. When the case went to trial, SanSeverino pleaded guilty to taking $275,000 from Trish, his former fiancé. He was put on probation and ordered to pay restitution of $2,000 per month. He complied, sort of, for awhile, and then stopped paying—violating the terms of his probation.

Violation of probation

At that point, the authorities probably would have done nothing to force him to pay. That’s when Trish really went into action. She kept calling the guy’s probation officer. She hounded the prosecutor. She wanted the guy to pay—or go to jail.

SanSeverino was ordered to appear for a violation of probation hearing in early February 2008. Trish took off of work to be there, but the case was postponed. This happened multiple times over the next seven months—the case was scheduled, Trish arranged to be there, and the hearing never happened. Finally, the hearing actually took place on September 26, 2008—almost a year ago. SanSeverino didn’t show up and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The guy was a fugitive.

Legal authorities were not exactly energetic in pursuing SanSeverino. But in April 2009, he was pulled over in Pennsylvania on a traffic violation, gave a fake name, and was arrested for falsifying his identity.

About the same time, coincidentally, Trish heard from a woman who met SanSeverino at a casino in Delaware. This prompted Trish to call the New Jersey sheriff’s department handling the case. The officers checked their computers and discovered, to their surprise, that SanSeverino was in custody in Pennsylvania. So after he served his time there, he was sent back to New Jersey. His long-delayed violation of parole hearing took place on July 2, 2009.

Sentenced to prison

SanSeverino tried to talk his way out of going to jail. He acted remorseful. He said he was going to “live in darkness” until he paid Trish back. He needed Trish to forgive him. The judge, Susan F. Maven, didn’t buy the act and sentenced SanSeverino to five years in prison.

Maybe, if the people of New Jersey are lucky, SanSeverino will serve at least half of his sentence. Because the only real benefit of him being in prison is that it may make it difficult for the guy to find new victims.

For Trish, the damage has already been done. In the victim impact statement that she read in court, Trish said,

“I am 47 years old now and I am dead broke. I am still paying attorney fees from all of this and it is almost three years later. I am a single mother. I worked as a massage therapist for the past 20 years of my life and truthfully, I am physically ready to retire from my work because I am hurting and I have injuries to my shoulder and nerve damage. But I cannot retire because of what this man did to me.”

Trish also said she was angry because her daughter’s life has been sidetracked as well. With her inheritance, Trish could have sent her daughter to college. SanSeverino took the money, and her daughter dropped out.

Moral victory

I don’t know if any victim of a sociopath ever wins a satisfying victory. I beat my ex-husband, James Montgomery, in court. The judge found him guilty of fraud and awarded me all the money he took from me—$227,000—plus $1 million in punitive damages. I was never able to collect my judgment and ended up declaring bankruptcy anyway.

Still, I think it is valuable to pursue justice. Sometimes our efforts get the con artists off the street, at least for a little while, so that maybe someone else is saved. Sometimes the predators end up with a record, which, if a future victim is smart enough to investigate, also may prevent the sociopath from pulling another scam.

But mostly we need the moral victory. We did not roll over. We fought. And even if we did not recover the money or property that were taken from us, we can feel justly proud for recovering our self-esteem.

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39 Comments on "Victory, of sorts, against the sociopath"

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Erin, he has lived in California and just about every other state of the US, I know he likes to travel internationally[ of course never at his expanse, always at the victims cost]he brags on one of the blogs how he traveled to Bali and also with in Australia, Erin his initials have A and a H, but than he does not use his real name,that has A H and B in it, but he also uses two others to make him sound more ‘American Indian”

The women he talks about never stole a thing from him but she dared to stand up against him.

this is what he says on the blog:
Born white, learned of Native American heritage when I took my art to family reunion. I’d begun a discovery journey. Grew up poet, artist, storyteller, dreamer, tree-climber, master’s degree, taught science, history, sociology, geography, anthropology, got married, had kids, did ordinary things that I treasure and then someone up there lifted my anchor. I’ve been soaring ever since. Chose between teaching students lies of history or leaving the schools. Did odd jobs, began hearing the spirit wind that whispers in the heart, discovered wisdom of the —— weaving dream catchers. Took my art and teaching across USA for 5 yrs, to Europe 3 yrs, learned how to bring websites to the top to take my art and teaching to the world. A website stolen from me reached 200,000 visitors every month. She lied, she stole, but she didn’t conquer. Yr in Australia, touring, photographing, meeting people, Tasmania and Bali, and returned to USA to explore legend of Kokopelli and mysteries he revealed

This is a reply to what he posted about himself:

10 months, 3 weeks ago

We have finally a full understanding what soaring means, that you do so well
and have been doing so well for many years,it is an eagle getting a free ride from the uplift of the wind, you have that down to perfection.
and you do enjoy all the freebies it has been giving you, and now you have a student that you can teach the same soaring as you do, so you can put all the freebies together and live happily ever after,just make sure that you also teach your student how to walk in two worlds , as you already have four legs and in order to keep up with you , your student also needs to have four legs to walk in two worlds,than again you do claim you had taught your student to walk. Maybe put a forked tongue in for good measure.
As for the spirit wind that whispered in the heart,maybe it needs a very strong storm to find your heart , as you still need to find true wisdom.

10 months, 3 weeks ago

would you like to tell the rest of the world, how you could travel and stay in another country for all this time, with out spending any of your own money or very little , as you have none. we all would like to know so we can travel on the same principle as you .
as we all would love to travel and pay nothing for it,

Sarasims, I can relate to your last paragraph the S/P that was in my live constantly tried to tell me that my money was not safe I should invest it with his associate [ the fake money] so what I did
I contacted my bank manager and financial adviser they both come to my home and told him in no uncertain terms that my investment was in a safe place, you see I had started to doubt myself, as he was scaring me every day, that was when everything started going bad in the economy world wide, it was about six weeks before he had to go and leave this country, he was aware for some time that he could not get what he wanted, when I finally let him know that I did not come down in the last shower and was not a fool,he claimed in an email that his work was finished in this country.
It sure was as he could no longer get anything out of me, there was one thing that was very scary when I saw him take out a dagger that he had brought into this country illegally among other things, I reported that also to the authority’s including quarantine department, I was not aware that he had this until I told him that there is no way I would help him to stay in this country, that was when he took that dagger out of my desk draw, when I told the previous women about it she told me she knows about this dagger and said that that was his manhood.

Eri, I just read another one of his emails to another women,in there he says he has been to England.

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