Some people will do anything for a free meal. Some people actually go on dates with people they meet online just to have a nice meal paid for by the other person. It’s pretty stupid and pathetic, but is it a crime worthy of a felony offense? Or 10?
45-year-old Paul Gonzales has done this over the past few years and has even developed a bit of a reputation as he scammed free meals out of women he met online. According to LA County prosecutors Gonzales pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges related to accusations that he took “financial advantage of women he met mostly through dating apps and websites.”
News of his exploits has been covered at least as far back as 2016. He was called a dine-and-dash dater because he allegedly only went on internet dates to get a free meal and run out before the bill came.
On one date he ordered over a $100 in food. The woman said that he ordered two entrees because he was a “bodybuilder”. He later went to the bathroom and never came back, leaving her a large bill.
In the ten cases that he has been charged for, the women had to pay the bill in eight cases, the restaurants picked up the tab in the remaining two. The total amount he is accused of defrauding is $950.
He was charged with seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion, and one count of grand theft. He’s looking at a maximum sentence of 13 years if convicted. This guy may be a loser, but that seems a bit excessive.