Monday, June 29, 2015

DA 'poser' arrested for scamming thousands from elderly man

A man posing as District Attorney Seth Williams is now charged with a litany of crimes after allegedly scamming an elderly man and WWII veteran out of $95,000, under the guise of the city’s top prosecutor.

DA 'poser' arrested for scamming thousands from elderly man

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A man posing as District Attorney Seth Williams is now charged with a litany of crimes after allegedly scamming an elderly man and WWII veteran out of $95,000, under the guise of the city’s top prosecutor.

Shelton Thomas, 47, was charged with robbery, theft, extortion and impersonating a public servant, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Williams admitted he knew Thomas from when the two played basketball together as youths in Cobbs Creek, but called him a “scumbag” and “dirtball” for allegedly swindling a 93-year old man out of $95,000 over a three-year period. Thomas reportedly called Williams his “best friend” as he was getting arrested.

“This defendant is the lowest of the low,” Williams said at a press conference today.

“There are no words to describe the type of person who would steal from someone whose only shortcoming is that he is too trusting.”

The victim had hired Thomas to cut his lawn and in June 2011 Thomas reportedly told the victim he was arrested for illegally dumping grass clippings in an unauthorized dumpster. The scam then escalated to Thomas allegedly conning the victim out of tens of thousands of dollars in “court costs and fees.”

It was not until last week that Williams personally told the victim it was a scam and Thomas was arrested Friday night. He is being held on $750,000 bail.

 

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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