BOSTON (CBS) – Prosecutors say 25-year-old Michael Shields is a convincing man. The former New Hampshire man allegedly used romantic relationships to rip off at least five women, getting their personal information and opening at least a dozen fraudulent credit cards spending $375,000 on purchases.
Shields faced a 45-count indictment in Suffolk Superior Court including credit card fraud, larceny, attempt to commit a crime and witness intimidation.
Prosecutors say Shields had brief romantic relationships with women he met through social media and then used their personal info to open credit cards in their names.
Shields has lived in a variety of places, but they said he made the charges in Miami, Boston, Las Vegas, and other locations.
He’s even accused of opening a credit card in the name of a friend who is a military veteran. Chad Force, 25, of New York says he knows something about the persuasiveness of Michael Shields and “made the worst investment of my life”.
He tells WBZ-TV Shields was a high school friend of his wife who had a tempting investment offer in a company that Force later discovered had been sold two years prior. But he says he gave Shields $12,500 in life savings.
The return he got was zero and the money was gone. “When the time came to get paid I asked him where the money was. He said it hasn’t sold yet they’re working on it.”
Prosecutors say Shields’ financial schemes involved a dozen people. Chad Force says in hindsight he should have trusted his instincts. “He talked a good game, talked himself out pretty good. Even then I was a little skeptical.”
Shields’ defense attorney said in court Wednesday that he is indigent and has no job.
“This man has no reason not to come to court,” Shields’ attorney said. “He has no record.”
Shields is being held on $7,500 bail and is due back in court on November 1.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports