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Scammer Who Tricked Widow Out Of $80K Gets 7 Years While Authorities Probe Other Potential Victims
Accused serial scammer John Martin Hill has changed his name at least four times, and has been swindling women across the country for years, according to authorities.
A scam artist suspected of conning people in multiple states has been sentenced to seven years behind bars after swindling more than $80,000 from a widowed woman he met on Match.com.
John Martin Hill, who police said used multiple aliases, convinced a Georgia woman to fork over tens of thousands of dollars the same week she met him on the popular dating website earlier this year. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in October, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
Milton police said they were contacted in early April by Lisa Goodgames, who claimed she met Hill on Match.com roughly a week prior. She said Hill “tricked” her into dishing out thousands by pretending to be interested in her, a police report obtained by Oxygen.com stated. Martin told the woman he was a millionaire, that he loved her and he wanted to buy a home for her, police said.
"Within a week, they decided that they wanted to get married and buy a house together,” according to the incident report.
Police said Hill asked Goodgames to put down some money toward the house and furniture, to prove she was serious. Goodgames cut Martin a certified check for $75,000, and withdrew an additional $8,500, which she handed over to him. Before depositing Goodgames’ check into his checking account, police said Hill had only $9.84 to his name.
Hill subsequently went on a separate spending spree in Atlanta using Goodgames’ money to buy clothes and food — and an $11,000 BMW sedan.
Meanwhile, the pair was also went “house-shopping” and even picked one out that they both liked, Goodgames told authorities. When they applied to purchase the home, Hill was unable to provide proof he could pay, and the sale never went through.
“Hill became more distant and would make excuses as to why he could not provide the proof of funds,” Christopher Lewis, a prosecutor for the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, told Oxygen.com in a statement.
Goodgames, who suspected something fishy was going on, demanded her money back. Hill then blocked her number. When she looked up her phony lover’s address — supposedly in the Atlanta suburb of Johns Creek — she learned it was fake. She later provided police with financial records, a copy of the check she wrote Hill, and screenshots of their conversations.
Goodgame told police that she was prone to falling head-over-heels for romantic partners. She told detectives she was engaged to her last, now-deceased spouse within three days of meeting him.
“So, she was not surprised that she had fallen in love so quickly with Hill,” Lewis said.
In court, Hill testified that the money Goodgames had given him was for a “business transaction,” not for buying a home. He also denied ever shopping for houses with Goodgames.
Investigators learned that Hill had arrest warrants out in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia, and that he’s facing similar charges in Fulton County. Police also allege that Hill changed his name at least four times since December 2017. In the past, they said, he went by Gregory William Davis, Gregory Davis Dutton, Gregory W. Hill, and Maverick Bryson McCray.
Hill has allegedly avoided lengthy prison stints by posting bail, skipping town, and changing his name, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Most recently, police said, the convicted con artist changed his name to John Martin Hill, which he used to get a copy of a Masters of Business Administration diploma from the University of Michigan, which actually belonged to a different man with the same name.
In 2012, other alleged victims of his created Facebook page “Stop Gregory Hill,” which details several accusations from across the country against the convicted swindler.
Hill allegedly often used Craigslist, Instagram and other social media sites to pose as CEO of a company that recruited high school athletes while promising to help them earn varsity scholarships, Patch.com reported. He’d allegedly advertise employment at his company and would arrange interviews with women who responded to his postings. After taking their information, Hill often allegedly asked for cash, which he claimed was for a background checks, insurance, work permits, or a cell phone.
“Once the money was obtained by Hill from the women, he would give them a proposed start date of employment, but each woman reported that Hill soon stopped making contact with them,” West Long Branch Police Captain Larry Mihlon also told Patch.com.
Some of the fake company names he reportedly used included College Bound Recruits, Athlon Sports and Apple Athletes Corporation.
Lewis Lawrence, Hill’s court-appointed attorney, didn’t return Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Monday.
Gwinnett County Court also ordered Hill to pay $83,500 in restitution to Goodgames and have no contact with her. He’s prohibited from using any online dating sites and is restricted from changing his name. He was also fined $1,500. Hill isn’t eligible for parole.