I was debating if throwing this up here was even worth it, but after looking more into this guy, I'm discovering that anything valuable is a target for him, so musical instruments might be on his list.
I'm currently doing an investigation (for personal reasons rather than professional) into a local scam artist in Lackawanna, NY named James J. Monnin
. This guy usually runs home repair scams, but I've found that he's also into credit card fraud and is dipping into some other things like acting as a gun dealer without a license or FFL (Yes, will be reporting this). He also looks for people to start these businesses with him as the money person, then steals from both the partner and any clients they have, thus running the business into the ground and relying on the LLC to keep from being sued personally.
He also stole stock items and money out of the cash drawer from just about every place that's hired him (Sears was within inches of having him arrested at the end of last year, but he paid them back for what they knew for sure he stole.)
Monnin carries a fake badge, and claims to be a retired Federal Agent. He also claims to be an ex-Marine, a Marine sniper, a Team Leader for a military special response team, and that he served in the Golf War and was wounded there. Unfortuneately, his record says he was in the Navy for less than 5 months back in 1984, and was pretty much a nobody there, never making it passed 'Student Recuit'. He also has told witnesses that he was one of the Marines at the Battle of Mogadishu in October of 1993 during the Somali Civil War (otherwise known as the "Blackhawk Down" incident). He claims to have been one of the Marines rescued, and to have been one of the consultants on the Blackhawk Down film. (He insists his name is in the end credits)
He was arrested in the City of Buffalo in early 1990 for Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree (PL 190.26)... meaning he was playing cop back then too.
He has been caught defrauding Erie County Social Services at least twice, he is current using a DBA and FID to work under and defraud SSD (Yes, I've been sending them the info I find... hopefully they will be taking care of this shortly)
He seems to pray on the elderly a great deal, one woman in the southtowns he took for nearly $23,000. He uses the fake badge and his supposed military service to gain people's trust and in some cases employment. He also carries a handgun around and likes to brag about how he's pulled it on people that have made him angry. He does have a permit, but its hunting and target only, so he's carrying outside the scope for what he's allowed. (I'm going to see about getting that pulled too)
I have had people who he's scammed or stole from coming out of the woodwork on this guy the last 3 weeks. I'm gathering together a file and taking statements from his victims. The file when its complete will be submitted to several agencies including the ATF and the Attorney General's Office, plus all the local media just for the added push. Unfortuneately, I cannot take statements myself as it would be a conflict of interest on my part, however I do have another investigator working this for me that can do so.
If anyone on this board has had any dealings with James Monnin and wants to make a statement or has any documented evidence they want to add to the file, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will gladly speak with anyone who has any information, but we can only add signed statements and documentable evidence to the file. I am looking for any scam victims, anyone who Monnin has identified himself as a law enforcement officer too, anyone who Monnin has made a claim of service in the military to, anyone who Monnin has flashed his fake badge to, and anyone who has seen him walking around with a handgun either exposed or poorly concealed. And most of all (don't laugh, because he's already been this stupid at least once) Anyone who Monnin has approached and flat-out asked to become part of any illegal act or scheme with him. (He's also attempted to implicate co-workers in illegal and/or fraudulent acts, basically as leverage or for blackmail purposes should his own activities come under question by employers)
Lastly, I'd like warn everyone about the dangers of dealing with this man in any way, shape, or form. He talks a good game when you first meet him, and its only after a while do his stories and actions become inconsistant and suspicous. Do not hire him in your stores, do not hire him to do any construction work around your homes, do not go into business with him. Most of all, do not trust him around anything of value that you might have. Several of his past 'employees' have told me (during seperate interviews) that they have personally witnessed Monnin shoplifting at stores such as Home Depot & Lowes, plus stealing from the homes of his business partners. He also has bought $1000 of dollars worth of tools and equipment for himself, and billed them off to his clients as materials needed for jobs.
Thanks all for your time,
If I close my mind in fear... please pry it open.