Man gets prison time for catfishing scam involving Kenosha woman
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- An online dating nightmare is finally coming to a close for a Kenosha woman.
Diannalee Hart was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man she met on eHarmony.com.
Chad Elliott was sentenced to several years in prison this week for felony charges of theft and bail jumping.
Hart says Elliott lied about his name, job, and virtually everything else when they started dating in late 2016.
He quickly moved in with Hart and proposed to her.
“It was in reality the worst relationship I’ve ever been in,” Hart said. “He said he was the VP of acquisitions. He said he had a home in Oconomowoc. He said he had a six figure salary.”
None of it was true.
Through the course of their relationship, Hart says Elliott consistently asked for money, saying his bank accounts were hacked or frozen. She says he used every excuse in the book.
Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department detectives say Elliott squeezed almost $35,000 out of Hart.
“Because we connected so well and because I had a false sense of security, I thought, 'this guy's OK,'” she said.
Hart’s sister, Beth Carlock, says the relationship seemed too good to be true from the start.
“I was sick to my stomach when I first heard about what happened, and I was angry at Chad,” Carlock said.
Hart eventually reported Elliott to the police for stealing her jewelry.
The whirlwind three-month relationship came to a crashing end.
“I did give my heart,” Hart said. “I did give my trust, and he did break my heart.”
Hart gave eHarmony another shot, and today she has a new boyfriend, as well as a new determination toward life.
“I am much stronger,” she said. “I don’t let people walk over me like I did when I first met [Elliott].”
Detectives say Elliott pulled a similar scheme with someone else after Hart.
Hart advises people to trust their guts and rely on the opinions of family and friends to prevent becoming a victim.