How One Con Guy Applied OkCupid For Fun, Fraud, And Profit

How One Con Guy Applied OkCupid For Fun, Fraud, And Profit

He could be Dan Kaufman, Dan Kay, Dan Katze. He is a high profile cook, an internet entrepreneur, a tv producer. He’s got struggled to obtain Apple, Google, AOL, the Rainbow area. He hangs down with Steve Case, Gordon Ramsey, Tim Armstrong.He’s a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the founder of a seminal punk band. He’s one of the most persistent and grifters that are obsessive ply the roads of brand new York City—not to mention internet dating sites—in recent decades.

And he’d as if you to purchase their scheme to displace credibility and trust towards the internet.

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Daniel Kaufman is 37 yrs old. He could be from Wayland, Mass., a suburb of Boston. He filed for bankruptcy in Vermont in 1995, as he was 21. He currently resides in the Manhattan Detention involved in downtown Manhattan, awaiting arraignment on grand larceny fees. That more or less sums up the definitively real information we could gather on him, nevertheless the lies abound.

Kaufman ended up being arrested by NYPD detectives month that is late last Montauk, N.Y. He’s accused of defrauding a fresh York mobile marketing startup called CloudMob Media, which he’d conned into employing him as the chief technology officer, away from $20,000.

He presumably used the cash to lease a beach household in Montauk, where he spent a lot of last summer time and fall regaling an enhanced social group of New Yorkers—including the editor with this very website—with a never-ending cascade of extravagant lies. He relentlessly trawled the free dating website OkCupid, duping untold amounts of females (I talked to 3; their experiences recommend dozens more) into dating him. And then he made it happen all while busily trying to launch an innovative new network that is social would bring credibility and trust straight back the world wide web.

“This man is some fucking bit of work,” says someone call that is i’ll (lots of the people we talked to with this tale declined become identified for concern with being publicly revealed as Kaufman’s dupes). “He stated he previously been tapped by 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 stated this luxury was had by him apartment into the Financial District.”

Kaufman’s Montauk audience knew him as Dan Kay. He called himself that because if you Google “Dan Kaufman,” you will discover a full page operating over with tales through the lastgrift he got caught for—the 2008 “Busted Chef” imbroglio. 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 had been caught skimming customers’ credit cards into the tune of $30,000. The Brooklyn Heights we Blog, the Brooklyn Paper, among others assiduously covered the dissolution of Kaufman’s created 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. It all tumbled away: He had fled Boston significantly more than $40,000 in debt; he had been “capable 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 having ripped them down prior to. Following the news broke, his apartment had been ransacked by unknown individuals.

Kaufman ended up being this kind of accomplished fraudulence when this occurs that the one who posted the $50,000 bond after his July 2008 arrest was one of is own regulars in the extremely restaurant he utilized to perform their con.

“ I was thinking he had been an innocent kid getting screwed,” Lucille Goldsmith said week that is last. “He ended up being a tremendously friendly and guy that is gregarious. My better half and we knew him from likely to supper there. He called from prison and asked for assistance.”

The “Busted Chef” episode finished in February 2010, whenever Kaufman pleading bad to grand larceny. He had been purchased to pay for $34,000 restitution to Citigroup and American Express, and put on five years probation.

So Dan Kay was created. Following the news attention had were only available in 2008—including coverage of the 2009 event for which Kaufman had been accused of stealing a friend’s charge card and purchasing a dinner at McDonald’s—Kaufman started calling himself Dan Kay and cruising OkCupid for ladies. Selena Leong (that’s her real title), a writer that is 36-year-old foodie who splits her time passed between nyc and l . a ., had been one of the most significant 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 legs high (he’s maybe perhaps not). It showcased photos of Dan getting together with food-industry kinds, and listed their hobbies as searching, skiing, and snowboarding.

For Leong, whom liked dining and hardcore punk in equal measure, Dan Kay had been a ideal date.

“He seemed to care a great deal about food,” she said. “He told me he had been a two-time James Beard Award nominee, a chef that is former French Laundry, and ended up being the guitarist in [seminal Boston hardcore band] Slapshot. He stated he spent my youth on Martha’s Vineyard.” He additionally stated he had been a producer on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen together with Food Network’s Chopped—he reported to possess developed the latter—and a close friend of Gordon Ramsay.

Needless to press the site express, he had been none of these things. Maybe perhaps Not even after their very first date in July 2010, for which Dan invited Leong to your roof deck of their downtown apartment plus they (chastely) spent the night consuming beer and chatting, Leong discovered he said he was that he wasn’t who. She Googled “chef dan kay” and developed a 2010 brooklyn heights blog post about kaufman, featuring his photo april. an anonymous remark stated that he had been now going by Dan Kay.