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Vanishing Acts During Dinner Dates Produced Felony Charges

After he met women online and asked them out on expensive dinner dates a Los Angeles man is accused of making up excuses to leave the table near the end of the meal to avoid paying the check.

Over nearly a two-year span of time beginning in May 2016, 45-year-old Paul Guadalupe Gonzales reportedly made the acquaintance of at least ten women through online dating sites such as Plenty of Fish.

Gonzales allegedly began talking to each woman online and as he got to know each of them he eventually arranged dates to meet in person. He asked them to accompany him to upscale restaurants for their dinners together and it was reported by some of the women he went out with that he was charismatic and engaging company during the course of their meals and interactions with him.

A pattern allegedly emerged where Gonzales is suspected of intentionally making up reasons to get up from the table and walk away giving him the opportunity to leave the establishments before the bill for the meals was paid. Using the restroom, grabbing his cell phone charger from his vehicle, and needing to make a private call are some of the reasons he allegedly offered to the women to excuse himself from the table before disappearing.

Ten reported victims lost a total about $1000 collectively after they had to pay the bill when Gonzales allegedly left them with the checks. Two of the restaurants reportedly compensated the women involved in the incidents in their establishments by agreeing to pay for the meals, and one of the women said that she was under the impression that she was going to be recompensed by Gonzales but that he has not given her any money yet.

When the news started to circulate the media outlets Gonzales earned the nickname of the “dine-and-dash dater,” and his image was released as the suspect of the alleged crimes.

Gonzales was taken into custody on suspicion of seven felony counts of extortion, two felony counts of attempted extortion, and one felony count of grand theft. He is also charged with two counts of defrauding an innkeeper, and two misdemeanor counts of petty theft.

He entered a plea of not guilty on Monday in response to the allegations against him for felony theft and felony extortion. If he is found guilty he could spend up to 13 years incarcerated.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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