Showtime’s ‘Love Fraud’ is a documentary series that shines a light on Richard Scott Smith, a serial con-man who swindled over a dozen women in Kansas and surrounding areas by romancing them and then disappearing with their money. In some cases, he even walked down the aisle with them. Helmed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (the filmmakers behind the Oscar-nominated documentary ‘Jesus Camp’), this series focuses its narrative on the unsuspecting women, who, in search of love, ended up losing their money and their dignity to a man, that each time, walked away with maybe thousands of dollars, along with their assets and good credit.
Lisa Lenton is the reason why this series got made in the first place. The filmmakers found her blog, “Scott the Crook Smith,” about the man she married in April of 2012, and were intrigued enough to follow up on it. The blog just has one goal: to warn other women about Richard Scott Smith’s fraudulent and criminal ways. According to this, his sister believes that Richard could have had as many as eight or nine wives, despite him telling the police that he probably had five.
Getting back to their marriage, though, Lisa and Richard tied the knot in Georgia. But, in just a few months, she left him after getting dubious about his manipulative nature. She is yet to have their marriage annulled, but fortunately, she had enough foresight to block him from accessing her money. As soon as she had left him, she had frozen her accounts.
Jean Hansen, another one of Richard’s wives, however, was not as lucky. After hitting it off at a singles group, the two flew to Las Vegas in August 2015 to get married. She credits his charm and chivalry for making her fall for him. After agreeing to join his “business” Prestige Corporate Living, Jean was left so broke that she had to borrow money just so she could file for bankruptcy. She lost her house and her cars due to the debt he accumulated in her name. Richard had promised that she would get back all the money she had invested when he got $1.2 million after the sale of his other business, but it was all a part of his scheme.
In January of 2016, Jean started noticing the patterns of his manipulative behavior. She has even gone as far as to call it abuse. It was only after she came across Lisa’s blog that she learned that he was already married. And so, she got an annulment. Through the blog, she also learned that Richard had been engaged to another woman just a month before they got married, in Iowa. The woman’s name is not on record, but she accused Richard of assault by telling the police that he had thrown her to the ground, kicked her, and hit her in the head with an electronic device. She thought he might kill her, and for that, Richard was given probation.
Holly Koch became a victim of Richard in 2014. The couple met on a dating site, and after two months of talking, they became so serious that she agreed to join his business. After that, they moved in together and even made plans to get married. But, because her family became suspicious of him, she did too. Holly ended their relationship in May 2015, shortly before he met the unnamed woman whom he assaulted. Fortunately, though, Holly was able to successfully sue him for $90,000. In saying that, however, she is yet to receive any payouts from the con man.
Tracey is another Kansas City professional working woman whom Richard conned. She met and dated him as Mickey for just three months in 2016, but within it, their whirlwind romance had swept her off her feet. After they got engaged, though, one of Tracey’s kids, her daughter, Kayla, became suspicious of him and searched his truck. There, she found pill bottles with the labels removed and official paperwork under different names. She searched the internet for them all until she came across Lisa’s website. After that, Richard and Tracey’s relationship was in shambles, especially because Tracey learned that he had bought a sports car in her name. Richard ruined his victims not just financially, but, like Tracey, he drained them out emotionally as well.
Sabrina Dunlap, a hairstylist, met Richard while cutting his hair. During his fourth visit to her, they began talking and soon exchanged numbers. Five minutes after he left, he called her, and soon, the two entered into a relationship. Within months, they were planning their wedding. But, when Sabrina learned that Richard was still married, to Jean, she dumped him. Then, she found out that he had bought two cars in her name, started a cable service in her name in four Kansas City area apartments, got credit cards under her name, and even drained out their joint bank account. She went to the police with all this information, but in the end, her relationship with Richard still cost her around $100,000.
Richard’s other victims include Jennifer, Sandi, Vanessa, Ellen, Rachel, Angela, and more than one Heather.
Read More: Where Is Richard Scott Smith Now?