"Sweetheart Scammer" Allegedly Duped 82-Year-Old Out of Big Bucks

She was 46 to his 82. Perhaps that's why Michelle Nicholas was so appealing to John Deam. After eloping in the Keys, the wealthy older gentleman bought his beau a 2006 Lexus and a $13,000 Rolex. That probably endeared him a little more to her.

Nicholas and Deam might have continued this mutually beneficial relationship, but the sugarbaby eventually lusted after cash rather than mere gifts.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, Nicholas tried to take out a line of credit under her much older beau's name. Now she's facing charges of grand theft and exploiting the elderly. Police say the man easily becomes confused.

If what the cops say is true, this would be far from the first time that a South Florida woman has used her comparatively younger age to seduce and extort wealthy guys. It's a regular news trope in the Sunshine State -- a constant source of eyerolls second only to the kinds of tales that start with "Crazed Florida Man did X,Y and Z."

See also: Prostitutes Steal Millions and Walk Free

In January, after New Times ran an article about a group of prostitutes who were able to abscond with more than $1 million in jewelry, cash, and guns by seducing wealthy men they met in areas like Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, reader mail began pouring in from men and women alike who had fallen victim to that foursome or a similar cohort of criminals. Although the crime happens with stunning regularity, perhaps even more shocking is how often it goes unreported -- often due to the victim's embarrassment. Subhanna Beyah, so-called ringleader of the girls, was charged with an unsolved crime in Miami after an alleged victim read the article.

See also: Bar Girl "Crystal" Accused of Drugging SoBe Oil Tycoon Thanks to New Times Piece

It's unclear how exactly Nicholas and Deam met or what the alleged scammer does for a straight job. She has no prior record in Broward, although she does have an oddly named business registered to her name. Audrey Rose Productions Inc. is presumably named after the titular character of Audrey Rose, a 1977 movie in which Anthony Hopkins becomes obsessed with the idea that a young girl is his daughter reincarnated.

Although we're clinging to the .01 percent chance that Nicholas got the money by convincing the easily confused octogenarian that she was his long-lost daughter, we know that it's just another chapter of the oldest story in the world. Rather than be the greatest and most bizarre Florida scammer story of all time, it's simply an example of men trying to date people half their age and women willing to exploit that. Like Rust Cohle from True Detective says, "Time is a flat circle." In this context, the quotation means, "This scam will happen until the sun explodes and kills all of us."

Stay classy, South Florida.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

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Allie Conti was a fellow at Miami New Times and a staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, where her writing won awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's now the senior staff writer at Vice and a contributor to the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Atlantic.