A Missouri man has been accused of convincing a woman to buy him a Lamborghini and a Corvette as part of an online dating swindle that stretched across several states and encompassed at least three women, according to authorities.
28-year-old Timothy Rossell was arrested on October 13, and has been charged with one count of impersonating a federal officer and four counts of identity theft. According to police, Rossell was engaged in a con in which he would convince women to buy cars for him, drive them for a time, and then secretly sell them while telling the women the vehicles were stolen, KMOV.com reports.
Rossell had been living with his 27-year-old fiancee in Union, Missouri, under the identity of deputy U.S. marshal Austyn Gardner, according to court documents cited by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. During their time together, Rossell convinced her to purchase him a Cadillac Escalade, a Shelby Mustang, and a Can-Am Spyder; he also opened several credit cards in her name, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
According to Detective Sergeant John Biser, when Rossell’s bride-to-be found the credit cards and several federal I.D.s for him under a different name, she confronted him—only for him to flee in his white 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo.
The Lamborghini, it turned out, had reportedly been purchased for Rossell by a 27-year-old woman from Ft. Meyers, Florida, who he had also dated. She told police she had also bought Rossell, who she knew as deputy U.S. marshal Austyn Labella, a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and had also loaned him $27,000.
Rossell was ultimately captured by authorities in Effingham, Illinois, where he was reportedly captured at the bus station trying to buy a ticket after the Lamborghini blew a tire.
Rossell reportedly met both women, as well as a third victim from Pennsylvania, on the dating website Plenty of Fish.
The Post-Dispatch reports that Rossell’s criminal record contains a litany of offenses across several states under numerous identities. A January 2014 article from Pittsburgh-area news outlet Trib Live reports Rossell has previously been charged with auto theft and impersonating both Pennsylvania and Missouri state law enforcement personnel.