Thursday, July 5, 2012
7 News Investigations: Escorted Into Trouble
Authorities says a Broward man has been scamming out-of-town escorts by falsely claiming he's with a big-time band, and there is concern someone might get hurt if he isn't caught soon. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero with this special assignment report: "Escorted into Trouble."
WSVN -- Robert Weiner, who goes by "Rob," was an impatient man back in 2010.
Broward Sheriff's Office detective: "Was that you banging on the door?"
Rob Weiner: "No, that was my chair."
Detectives from the Broward Sheriff's Office brought him in for questioning, because out-of-town escorts claimed Weiner was ripping them off.
Broward Sheriff's Office detective: "This is a flat-out scam if I've ever seen one."
Rob Weiner: "Of course, I'm getting [expletive]."
BSO says Weiner has been booking high-end escorts through online websites, claiming to be either a manager or a member of a well-known band.
But once the escorts arrive, they end up paying instead of being paid.
Detective Ian Kuechler, Broward Sheriff's Office: "A lot of them describe what became a hellish night."
Sgt. Craig Brown, Broward Sheriff's Office: "Girls would go and pick him up, and then the scam starts, where, 'I lost my wallet, my manager has my wallet, my limo broke down. Front me some money, we'll go do our thing, and I'll get you the money back,' and that's where the girls are victimized."
Authorities say sex with Weiner is also part of the play.
Detective Ian Kuechler, Broward Sheriff's Office: "There'd be mood swings, drug use and then eventually, their property or money would be gone, and so would he."
Rob Weiner: "Oh my God, you've got to be [expletive] kidding me here. You've got a pissed-off hooker, and you've got me in cuffs. This is crazy."
When questioned, Weiner was clear: He did not think the word of an escort would hold up.
Rob Weiner: "You do arrest me, she's gonna make a hell of a witness."
BSO says he's been pulling the same thing for years.
There are even Internet websites warning about Weiner.
Detective Ian Kuechler, Broward Sheriff's Office: "We get calls every other week. At some points, it can go quiet for a little bit, and then it fires back up."
He was caught on camera at a local store using a credit card BSO says belonged to an escort.
And another escort sent authorities cell phone pictures of Weiner carrying her luggage.
That was just weeks ago.
Rob Weiner: "I can't believe I'm sitting here for some [expletive] stupid chick."
This interrogation was by no means Weiner's first brush with the law.
The Deerfield Beach resident has an arrest record that dates back to the 80s.
Rob Weiner: "I've done a lot of [expletive] in my life, there's no question about that. This is pissed-off hookers, because I didn't pay. That's what this is."
Since 2004, he's been busted on everything from credit card fraud to grand theft to drug possession.
He's currently on probation, but maybe not for long.
There are warrants for his arrest for violating probation.
Rob Weiner: "I didn't steal any credit cards from her."
And although he was arrested after the interrogation on charges of grand theft and ID theft, Weiner was released on bond.
He didn't show for court, and now he is named in a warrant for that too.
BSO Detective: "All these chicks are making up the fact that you flew them here with all these promises and hotel and rental cars?"
Rob Weiner: "Of course."
BSO Detective: "And of course, they got stiffed and all that?"
Rob Weiner: "Of course."
So far, Weiner has escaped capture, and authorities are concerned about his temper.
BSO Detective: "Why are you so angry?"
Rob Weiner: "[Expletive] you man."
BSO Detective: "Rough day?"
Rob Weiner: "[Expletive] you and your stools."
Sgt. Craig Brown, Broward Sheriff's Office: "It's probably just a matter of time until someone aggravates him, frustrating him, until these things turn from a theft or identity theft to some type of assault or battery."
Carmel Cafiero: "BSO is convinced Weiner is still in the Deerfield Beach area and says he is a regular at local casinos. They are hoping the public can help them find Rob Weiner."
If you can, call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.