Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Man Named Rick...Uh No, Mike...No, Daniel...Opps I Forgot, He Is Just A Con

Back in January, a man from the other side of the motel stopped and chatted for a bit with us. He asked about the ministry, people we work with and our funding. He dressed extremely well, since he was a business consultant. He explained that he and his wife were moving to Cincy, Ohio as soon as they closed on their home here and their house was finished there. A couple of weeks later, his wife had to go on to Ohio due to her job transfer. He remained behind for the final closing on their house they had just sold. Many times we invited him to join us for dinner, but he always said, "No save it for somebody who truly needs it." In March he let us know he would be leaving, but he wanted information on the ministry, as he frequently flew back here for work and would like to help us fundraise. So I gave him a package about the ministry and our goals for our growth.

May 12th, at 7:00 AM, I had a knock on the door. It was Rick and he looked exhausted. He explained he had flown in from Ohio for business and when he got into Williamsburg, he had his wallet stolen. He needed to get a bus ticket back to Cincy and wanted to see if we could help. He hadn't eaten since the day before and slept in the lobby, while waiting for his wife to call him back. We got him something to eat and a bus ticket, yet an hour later my husband called me and said, "His wife isn't home. Her father had heart problems and she had to take him to Cleveland to a specialty hospital. He would like to stay at the motel until she can get back to him." So, we got him a room for the night. In the meantime, he continued to discuss fundraising oppotunities for us. Several days later and $400+ in motel payments, he still hadn't heard from his wife. We were financially crunched. My husband lost his contracting job because of our expenses, Rick continued to say, "My wife will come pick me up and pay you back" and we were behind in all our bills. After the first week, I asked the motel manager to take the room out of the ministry name and deal strictly with Rick. The manager was also getting the run-a-round. A month later, Rick was still here with the same song and dance and we were sinking financially. Our debts had reached over $3000 and I was about to lose my car, all my possessions in storage and my sanity. I found myself becoming very irritable, frustrated, mean and having constant heart problems. The stress caused my doctor to start me on heart pills and high blood pressure medicine. Finally, the motel manager told Rick he had to leave. So he packed up his stuff and went to another motel. That night, I contacted the manager where Rick was staying, (she is a close friend of mine) and explained what happened here and told her, "If he doesn't have the money in the morning for another day, you should tell him to leave. I would hate to see what happened here, happen to you." The next morning, Rick left that motel.

Later that afternoon, a detective from west of Richmond called saying that he had been chasing a guy for a long time. I asked him who and he said a man named Daniel who had been scamming people all over Virginia. I described Rick and it turned out to be him who was wanted for fraud on over twenty counts! We knew where Rick was staying, so we thought, and the detective asked us to help him find him and came to town. That evening, I met with the detective and we hunted for Rick throughout the next day. The detective told me he could help me get the money I lost back as well as a reward. During our hunt, I found 2 other motels that 'Rick' owed money to, but under the name of Mike. Slick as he was, Rick noticed the detective looking for him and headed back to Richmond. Fortunately for all involved, Rick was seen crawling through the window of an abandoned house his family owns and the police were called. It turned out that Daniel (his real name) had scammed $50-60,000 out of people in Williamsburg and several hundred of thousand dollars out of people throughout Virginia.

Slowly I am still trying to recoup my loses. It has been very hard as I have even had to get a night job, on top of the ministry work in the daytime. Mr. Cheng in NY was so helpful in getting us some help. His sister, Tracy, paid for our storage bill for a month and a friend of hers covered a month payment on our car. Another friend of theirs helped us with tires, that were long past due. Unfortunately, a few days later, our Grand AM broke down, so now I have 2 vehicles in dire need of repair. But, we are only a couple of payments away from being out of the hole on the storage and car. In the meantime, I keep on trying to assist others, as I know God will get us over this speedbump!


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