Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, the man who has become known as the Los Angeles "dine-and-dash dater," has been exposed. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has charged Gonzales with multiple charges of theft and extortion, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to. Gonzales had become a bit of an urban legend around area online dating communities and apps, but his reign of scamming one woman after another is over. If dine-and-dash was all Gonzales had to be worried about, it would be one thing, but he has a list of crimes weighing on him now that could result in 13 years of prison.
In addition to scamming his online dates by leaving restaurants before the bill arrived, he was also charged with allegedly scamming a hair salon of their services, following his same pattern of leaving without paying, according to Fox Now. He also has a charge for grand theft facing him, and seven counts of extortion, with two more counts for attempted extortion. Each of those is a felony charge, but Gonzales has misdemeanor charges as well. Add a charge for defrauding an innkeeper and another for petty theft, and Gonzales has a full plate to deal with.Gonzales, 45, began his string of alleged scamming in 2016, and continued until at least April of this year based on his charges, although it is thought he was up to his old tricks until he was apprehended this week. Gonzales used online dating sites and apps to meet women who he would invite to dinner. He would eat a substantial meal, have some drinks, and then exit the scene in a variety of different ways.
In some cases, it is alleged he would excuse himself to the restroom or to take a call, and then simply walk out of the restaurant leaving his date stuck with the bill. He told one of his victims that he forgot his wallet and asked if she would pay. In at least two cases, the restaurant was left holding the bag for his portion of the meal. He arranged dates in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Burbank, and Long Beach. It is believed he has defrauded more women who may not be coming forward due to embarrassment over being scammed.Gonzales will be appearing at court in Pasadena for his preliminary hearing on September 7. His bail has been set at $315,000, according to the Los Angeles D.A. office. The case remains under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department, anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to come forward.