COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – A man has been charged with fraud and theft after police say he “engineered romantic relationships” in order to steal money from victims.
Reza Moeinian is accused of posing as a foreign businessman on dating sites to meet victims, and then dating them for several months in order to develop a romantic bond with them before convincing his partners to sign up for credit cards and lines of credits, which are quickly drained.
“There were multiple sites being used and we don’t want people to focus too much on one particular site,” explains RCMP Corporal Michael McLaughlin. “In some cases, Mr. Moeinian is accused of using dating brokers –real people– to hook up with victims.”
Mounties believe Moeinian uses a pseudonym on dating sites.
The Maple Ridge man has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, one count of theft over $5,000, and one count of causing someone to use a forged document.
Mounties have released his photo.
“It’s an unusual step for the RCMP to release a photo of the accused and we have to do that because we believe there’s a strong possibility there are more victims out there who haven’t spoken to police,” McLaughlin adds.
He says investigators have interviewed two women who claim to have had long term relationships with Moeinian. “There’s always a lot of guilt and some shame when the victims come forward to police. We really want to applaud the women who had the courage to come forward and tell us about this thing that wasn’t right. It’s really difficult when you’ve been victimized –not only through your heartstrings– but through your wallet.”
Moenian is described as a Middle Eastern man with a medium complexion who could pass as Italian or European. He’s 5’8″ and 135 lbs with short brown hair, brown eyes, and a slender build. He is currently in custody and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 12th.
Anyone who may have been a victim of “romance fraud” is asked to call their local police.