A man who used to live it up in the Theater District and the Seaport faces arraignment tomorrow on 45 fraud-related charges after allegedly secreting away more than $375,000 from women he met online - and another $15,500 from two soldiers he knew, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Michael J. Shields Jr., 25, proved unable to escape Boston justice by moving to New Hampshire, the DA's office says. According to the DA's office:
Shields typically met victims through social media sites and became involved in brief romantic relationships. A short time into each relationship, Shields allegedly asked the victim for her personal identification information, often stating that he wanted to make the victim an authorized user on his credit cards in order to take care of her financially. Instead of adding the victim to his own credit card accounts, however, prosecutors say Shields used the victim’s personal information to open credit cards and added himself as an authorized user.
Shields allegedly opened four credit cards in the name of a childhood friend and ringing up charges totaling more than $3,000. At the time, the victim was an active duty member of the U.S. Army preparing to transition into civilian life and had accepted Shields’ offer to help build his credit.
Shields is also accused of taking part in other schemes to make fraudulent use of some victims’ bank accounts to make payments on the fraudulently-obtained credit cards and to steal $12,500 from another member of the U.S. Army who had expected Shields to invest the funds on his behalf, prosecutors said.
According to the DA's office, Shields used the funds for meals, vacations, clothing and jewelry. He will formally be arraigned on 21 counts of credit-card fraud, 17 counts of use of a stolen or fraudulently obtained credit card, two counts of larceny over $250 by single scheme, two counts of attempting to commit larceny over $250, one count of larceny over $250 and two counts of witness intimidation.