Husband of ‘Sweetheart Swindler’ Sentenced to 85 Years for Bilking Older People

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Prosecutors said that Desiree Boltos and her husband, Paul Hill, stole much than $3 cardinal from seniors who believed they were successful romanticist relationships with her.

Desiree Boltos, Paul Hill.
Credit...Tarrent County Sheriff's Office

Nov. 12, 2021, 11:11 a.m. ET

Looking back, James Olmstead inactive thinks it mightiness person been a accidental meeting: He was successful the checkout enactment astatine an Office Depot store successful Texas erstwhile the pistillate up of him backed up and bumped into him.

“She turned astir and said, ‘Pardon me,’ and I said, ‘No problem,’” helium recalled connected Thursday.

In the parking lot, Mr. Olmstead recovered that the woman’s car was parked close adjacent to his, and they started talking. She told him she was 32 and single, helium recalled. She said her hubby had died of cancer.

Mr. Olmstead, a retired Navy serviceman who was 75 astatine the time, asked her retired connected a date. It was the autumn of 2012. Over the adjacent 2 years, Mr. Olmstead began what helium believed was a romanticist narration with the woman, Desiree Boltos. They went to restaurants together. He took her buying astatine the mall. He met her children. He projected marriage. She said yes.

All the while, she kept asking him for money, helium said: for her brother’s business, for a tribunal conflict involving her grandmother’s inheritance, to region a cyst from her commencement canal, tribunal records show.

Prosecutors accidental Mr. Olmstead gave Ms. Boltos $298,000 done ligament transfers, currency and checks. Mr. Olmstead said helium spent person to $380,000 connected Ms. Boltos — giving her each but $10,000 of his beingness savings.

“I was emotionally progressive with her truthful I conscionable kept penning checks until it was each gone,” Mr. Olmstead, who is present 83 and lives successful Fort Worth, said successful an interview.

But she wasn’t acting alone, prosecutors said. They said her common-law husband, Paul Hill, whom she introduced to victims arsenic her brother, was her “equal partner” successful bilking not conscionable Mr. Olmstead but besides different older radical and past spending their wealth astatine casinos.

On Thursday, Mr. Hill, 43, was sentenced to 125 years successful situation — to beryllium served concurrently arsenic 85 years — aft helium pleaded blameworthy to charges of wealth laundering, theft of property, organized transgression enactment and jumping bail, prosecutors said.

His condemnation follows Ms. Boltos’s ain condemnation successful 2018 for preying connected six radical — ranging successful property from 67 to 86 — by making them judge they were engaged successful romanticist relationships with her and past swindling them with stories of cancer, homelessness, ineligible hardships and concern troubles.

Ms. Boltos, who is present 40, was sentenced to 263 years successful situation — to beryllium served concurrently arsenic 85 years — aft a assemblage recovered her blameworthy of 5 counts of theft of spot and 1 number of exploitation of an aged person.

Mr. Hill’s lawyer, Eve Schatelowitz, called the condemnation “unduly harsh,” saying immoderate execution cases bash not effect successful 85 years successful prison. “It’s a tragic concern for everybody involved,” she said.

Prosecutors accidental that from January 2012 to May 2017, Ms. Boltos and Mr. Hill stole $3 cardinal from victims, galore of whom were lonely, depressed oregon grieving the decease of a spouse.

“She was a cleanable con artist,” Mr. Olmstead said. “I was truly shocked to find retired she was conning maine due to the fact that I thought it was the existent happening — a romanticist relationship. But no, she was playing maine similar a sucker.”

Ms. Boltos’s lawyers had argued that the radical she met had fixed her wealth voluntarily.

“She didn’t clasp a weapon to anybody’s head,” said Blake Burns, who represented Ms. Boltos successful an unsuccessful entreaty past year. “They didn’t suffer the capableness to accidental nary to her, adjacent though her stories weren’t true. ‘I don’t privation to springiness you money’ was a effect that nary of them seemed to travel up with.”

Prosecutors said Ms. Boltos, who has been referred to by the territory attorney’s bureau and the section media arsenic the “sweetheart swindler,” utilized akin tactics to deceive each of her victims.

She would conscionable radical implicit 65 — connected a dating website, connected an airplane oregon successful a store. She would statesman a narration with them, talking to them astir God, emotion and her tendency to beryllium with them and spot them rise her children, prosecutors said. Then she would travel up with scenarios successful which she and her “brother” needed wealth immediately.

Ms. Boltos was 32 erstwhile she met Danny Barnett, who was 72, astatine a station bureau successful January 2012, according to court records. Although they ne'er lived together, they joined astir 4 months later, aft Ms. Boltos said she needed wellness security to screen her crab surgeries, prosecutors said.

Mr. Barnett bought Ms. Boltos a house, wherever she lived with Mr. Hill and her 3 children, tribunal papers state. Mr. Barnett bought her a car and gave his Social Security and workers’ compensation checks to her.

When helium was hospitalized and “did not look to person his intelligence faculties,” she secured a powerfulness of lawyer implicit his affairs, the tribunal papers said. After Mr. Barnett died successful 2016, she utilized her presumption arsenic his woman to person the proceeds of his beingness security policy, prosecutors said. In total, she took $353,923 from him, prosecutors said.

Lori Varnell, main of the elder fiscal fraud portion astatine the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s office, said the authorities were capable to retrieve 2 cars that had been stolen from the victims, but nary of their money. She said Ms. Boltos and Mr. Hill had spent millions of dollars astatine casinos.

Mr. Olmstead said that by taking astir of his beingness savings, Ms. Boltos and Mr. Hill denied him the state to bash a batch of the things that helium had hoped to bash successful retirement, similar hole up his location and bargain an airplane. They besides took vantage of his affection for her and his tendency to assistance her and her 3 children, helium said.

“They travel into your life,” helium said. “They trample implicit everything that is ineffable successful your life. You truly consciousness similar a existent fool. I felt similar a existent fool. I got emotionally progressive with her and emotions override communal sense.”

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