A Waltham man pleaded not guilty this morning on suspicion of stealing more than $200,00 from women he met on dating Web sites.
Albert Lovering Jr., 54, 24 Charlesbank Way, Apt. A, Waltham, pleaded not guilty during an arraignment hearing this morning on charges of 23 counts of larceny and being a common and notorious thief, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 16 for a pre-trial hearing and has already been indicted by a grand jury. Lovering was arrested last night.
Prior reports indicated Lovering was a Weston resident, however, the DA’s office confirmed he is in fact from Waltham. The cause of the confusion — Lovering had been maintaining a post office box in Weston.
Authorities say the thefts go back to November 2006, when Lovering met his first victim on personal ads from Yahoo.com. Lovering convinced this first victim to initially lend him $1,000 for an eBay transaction and then later to lend more money and to co-sign a loan, from which he would repay her all the money he owed her.
However, authorities say, Lovering simply took the money and gave her nothing.
Lovering met the second victim in January 2008 via Craigslist and again convinced this victim that he needed a loan for an eBay item totaling $1,645. Over time, authorities say, Lovering convinced the second victim to lend him more than $28,000 in total, wooing her with romantic dinners and "professions of warmth, affection and physical attraction," according to a statement from the DA's office.
After these transactions, Lovering never saw the victim again but continued to communicate with her electronically, say authorities, telling her he had to be hospitalized in New Hampshire for a serious medical condition. While he made it clear he did not want her to visit, he mentioned he would not be able to pay his bills and that the hospital would not release him without payment.
That's when, authorities say, the woman sent a series of paychecks to him via a post office box he maintained in Weston. In total, this led to the second victim sending more than $70,000 to Lovering, with no repayment from him.
Authorities also say Lovering invented a fictional persona named Doug Spencer to help convince the second victim to continue lending him money. "Bank records confirm that it was [Lovering] himself who cashed the victim's checks at a Weston branch of her bank which, it is alleged, contradicts his representations that he was unable to gain release from the New Hampshire hospital," said the DA's statement.
Lovering also met a third victim on Craigslist between May and June of 2008 and continued his pattern of pleading fiscal instability while also declaring his affection. The third victim loaned him $7,200 and never heard from him again.
A fourth victim met Lovering on PlentyofFish.com in December 2008 and maintained a mostly online relationship. Again, Lovering declared his affection for this victim while also asking for money to help with financial troubles.
This fourth victim sent Lovering two checks totaling $1,500, thinking she would be repaid, say authorities. In addition, Lovering continued to use the Doug Spencer persona to con this victim, saying again he was hospitalized in New Hampshire.
In total, authorities say, Lovering stole more than $100,000 from this fourth victim.