According to the personal ads cited in court documents, Patrick Giblin was a deep man; one who didn’t judge a woman on her appearance and who was looking for “one real, true, genuine woman.” She should be ready to commit.
Sometimes, Mr. Giblin claimed he was employed by the lottery commission in various states. At others, he said he was in the casino business. He claimed he owned a beachfront property in a New Jersey resort city. Or, as he told it, his brother was an executive with US Airways who could easily offer discount flights.
None of those things were true, federal authorities say.
In reality, Mr. Giblin, who is now 58, spent at least two decades swindling scores of women across the country out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to federal court records. He targeted single mothers, women with disabilities, widows and at least one woman who had just lost a child, keeping detailed notebooks in which he categorized the women by city — writing down their names, jobs and desires in a partner, documents show.
By phone, he would promise the women that he would move to be with them, according to the records. Then he would induce them to send him money.
A lawyer for Mr. Giblin could not be reached on Sunday.
In an interview with The Daily Beast in October, Mr. Giblin said that he had a gambling problem that had rendered him powerless. “Unfortunately, I have scammed and conned for many years,” he said. “I am not happy about what I have done. Yes, it has been thrilling, exciting and has also come with failures along the way.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Giblin, who has been arrested several times and escaped custody twice, was sentenced by a federal judge to five and a half years in prison for engaging in a scheme to defraud women using telephone dating services, as well as for escaping from federal custody.
He had previously been convicted and imprisoned on fraud-related charges, but in July 2020 he escaped while being transferred from a Pennsylvania prison to a residential facility in Newark, N.J., according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of New Jersey. He was arrested in Atlantic City, N.J., in March 2021, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
According to court records, Mr. Giblin was arrested in New Jersey in 2005, after an Ohio woman accused him of threatening her and forcing her to send him several money order payments via Western Union. She said that she had met Mr. Giblin about two weeks earlier on Quests Personals, a phone dating service, and that he had described himself as an undercover law enforcement officer who worked at a casino in Atlantic City.
The woman said that she initially found Mr. Giblin “convincing” and a pleasure to talk with. When Mr. Giblin initially informed her of his plans to move to Ohio, the woman wired him $450. But she said that when she refused to send him more funds, Mr. Giblin became increasingly threatening, identifying her personal banking details and threatening the life of the woman and her three children. She sent him four additional payments, totaling $6,856.
Following the arrest, an investigation by the F.B.I. revealed that Mr. Giblin had used telephone dating services to target women nationwide from at least January 2000 and until March 2005. He had created multiple accounts in his name across the country, using telephone dating services that included Quest Personals and Lavalife.
In a 2006 plea agreement, Mr. Giblin admitted that 50 to 250 women had wired him a total of $200,000 to $400,000. In 2007, he was sentenced to more than nine and a half years in prison and ordered to pay $182,444 in restitution.
But in early 2013, Mr. Giblin escaped from a community corrections center in Philadelphia. He was arrested a few weeks later and returned to federal custody. He was released later that year.
But Mr. Giblin continued to defraud women, according to court records. Even while on the run from the authorities, he posted advertisements on dating services and asked women to send him money. He left New Jersey, in violation of the terms of his supervised release, and ended up in prison again in 2015.
By 2017, Mr. Giblin had been sentenced to another five years in prison for traveling to launder money in connection with similar fraudulent schemes.
In Mr. Giblin’s most recent sentencing, the authorities noted that he had continued exhibiting the same pattern of behavior, even while he was a fugitive. In addition to his 66-month sentence, Mr. Giblin was ordered to pay restitution of $23,428.