NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A Winchester man has pleaded guilty on Tuesday to defrauding a woman of $377,000 and tricking her into marrying him.
Harry Randall Withers, Jr., 38, made up a series of lies and convinced a woman to lend him money.
He told her he owned a wine and cheese bar and that his employees were embezzling from him, when in fact he was the manager and he was embezzling money from the actual owner.
He also convinced the woman he was a member of an affluent family that founded the Union Camp Corporation, a paper company that was later acquired by International Paper.
He claimed his grandmother had died and left him a very hefty inheritance that he would use to repay the loan from the woman; as soon as the IRS removed the freeze on his bank accounts.
Withers continued to justify the two getting married would solve tax and legal issues that were preventing him from accessing his money, and that if they were to get married he would be able to pay her back.
The woman believed his lies and married Withers and lent him $377,000, which he used for his own benefit with no intention to pay her back.
Withers would write a series of checks that seemed like repayment of the money the woman had lent him, but they were written on funds that had insufficient funds or were closed.
He also forged the woman’s signature on checks written on her account that he made payable to himself.
Withers pleaded guilty to wire fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in criminally deprived property.
The maximum penalty in prison is up to 30 years, and Withers will be sentenced on October 13.