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Con woman at large for five years captured by police

A 48-year-old con woman who has been on the run since 2007 was found hiding recently in a relative's basement. Police were alerted to her whereabouts after she provided false identification to an officer a year ago. Police were finally able to pinpoint her location and she is currently being held on $250,000 bail, awaiting extradition to New Jersey. She faces criminal charges of providing false identification to a law enforcement officer.

The woman, who goes by the moniker, "Chicken," was indicted in 2007 for allegedly conning an elderly man into lending her and her partner thousands of dollars for nonexistent business ventures. Her partner, 50, was arrested in 2010, after evading the police for three years. She pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to five years of probation.

It is alleged that the so-called "sweetheart scam" began when Chicken's partner met the elderly man and pretended to have romantic feelings for him. The woman and the man, a retired financial adviser, allegedly went on several dates. She used this pretense, as well as a false occupation as an interior designer, to persuade him to give her $104,900 to put towards a hotel renovation project.

Chicken's partner then introduced the man, who is now 91, to Chicken, who posed as an heiress to a cleaning company, according to police. Affecting amorous intentions, she too convinced the man to give her a significant sum of money-$60,000-to fund her business, which was said to be struggling financially.

The man wrote the final check in 2004. After receiving the money, the two women allegedly disappeared and embarked on a personal spending spree. No hotel renovation or cleaning business endeavors were undertaken. Although Chicken was indicted in 2007, it wasn't until recently that she was captured by police.

Source: nj.com, "Authorities arrest fugitive accused of faking romance, stealing $164K from elderly man," Christopher Baxter, Aug. 15, 2012.

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