SAN DIEGO - A former San Diego man accused of wooing women only to steal their money is in custody, but not for the reason his victims hoped for.
Fadi Chaiban is being held in an Orange County jail without bail on an immigration probation violation.
But women said they want him prosecuted for fraudulently taking money from them.
Chaiban's alleged victims said he pretended to fall in love with them, stole their money and then disappeared.
It happened to one 73-year woman, who said she met Chaiban on the dating website Plenty of Fish in 2011.
"He took me to lovely restaurants and dined and wined me. It was tons of fun," said the victim, who wanted to remain anonymous.
But she said Chaiban became manipulative. She told Team 10 he used a psychic to make up stories about threats on her life if she didn't give Chaiban money.
"Two thousand here, two thousand there," the woman said. "Everything escalated in order to keep me alive."
He even faked his death, she said. By that point, the woman said she had given him more than $69,000.
"I felt like I was in this hole," the woman said. "And I had to stay in because he kept on making the promises so I could get my money back."
She's not alone. There allegedly are other victims in Southern California.
Court records show Chaiban went by several aliases, including Anthony Marino, Eddie Morretti and Vincent Paul Moretti.
A records check also found convictions in Nevada for fraud, prostitution and pimping, theft, and narcotics.
Team 10 confirmed with Orange County Sheriff’s officials that Chaiban is now sitting in jail, but on an immigration probation violation as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee. He was arrested on October 25th and is being held with no bail.
Chaiban was being investigated not only by San Diego police, but also authorities in Orange and Riverside counties for the same type of crimes. Even though there are three identified victims, prosecuting Chaiban is harder than it seems, said a spokesperson for San Diego police.
“They’re in different jurisdictions,” said Lt. Kevin Mayer with San Diego police. “Our case is still ongoing and active, but getting more victims to come forward related to this suspect would help us build our case here to move forward with it.”
The victim says this experience has changed her life.
“Oh my god, forever… I’m on guard,” she said.
The victim Team 10 spoke to said she plans to file a civil lawsuit.
10News contacted an ICE spokesperson for more details on Chaiban’s arrest, but they would not comment.