Elk Grove Woman Allegedly Tricked Man into Bankrupting Himself with Gifts to Her

The Campbell man now heart-broken and bankrupt after a five-month relationship with a 30-year-old Elk Grove woman.

An Elk Grove bombshell allegedly conned a lovestruck, elderly Campbell man and now faces a felony charge of theft from an elder, authorities announced Friday.

Samantha Pham, 30, received a luxury Lexus and a $200,000 investment in a her fledgling company from the victim, who eventually lost his home and filed for bankruptcy, according to a Santa Clara County District Attorney press release.

"Ms. Pham criminally took advantage of a lonely, elderly man," Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourlard said. "Unfortunately, this is such a common scenario that it has a nickname: The Sweetheart Scam. It is unconscionable."

According to the District Attorney's Office, Pham allegedly began the scam in April 2009 by cold-calling the victim, then visiting and flirting with him.

Throughout the relationship, the victim gave Pham his ex-wife’s diamond ring and he refinanced his home—which, according to the DA, he owned free and clear—to lend Pham money to invest in a financial company she wanted to start, called Western Financial. Pham even brought the victim to sign a lease for an Elk Grove Office space. The victim maxed out his credit card to buy her office furniture. Then he bought her a $73,000 Lexus.

At a point, the release states, the victim realized he could no longer afford his home so Pham convinced him to sell it, with Pham pocketing close to $7,000 in a "referral fee."

By September 2009, Pham broke off all contact with the elderly man. The office was never furnished and the office lease abandoned. The victim filed for bankruptcy and called police.

The District Attorney found that the financial company Pham allegedly started was her boyfriend’s "and almost $50,000 of the victim’s pilfered money went to pay off the victim in another criminal case Pham faced in Nevada."

Authorities arrested Pham on Jan. 16, 2013 and investigators found luxury Louis Vuitton items at her home. According to the DA, the man who repossessed the Lexus later told investigators that several months earlier he had repossessed from her a $100,000 BMW. The investigator also discovered that the between 2009 and 2012, Pham had gambled away more than $1 million at the Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs.

In Santa Clara County, the Elk Grove resident faces a felony charge of theft from an elder and could face up to six years in prison, if convicted. She is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon, at 1:45 p.m. in Department 23 of the Hall of Justice.


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Josie January 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM
This is an issue that will never end as long as there are people that fall in love and believe in the wrong people. My father went through something similar 3 times but he had nothing to offer these women so the joke was on them because my dad was as bad as they were. On two separate occasions he bought women new cars but since they did not keep up with the payments they were reposed because my dad was surely not going to pay if he did not get his "pay" the 2nd one's boyfriend showed up at my door with her and told me Mrs. so and so and I stopped him cold and said darling that would be my mother, your 23 yr old girl has been out doing god knows what to get my dad to buy her a fire engine red brand new mustang except he stopped paying it because she was not delivering on her promises. Shame on her. The third was a woman from Stockton working at a Denny's she got a hold of his Bank card and was at the ATM every 3rd of the month making some hefty withdrawals. Since I kept tabs on my dad I found him very ill from not having his med's for his congestive heart failure I rushed him to the hospital where the MD declared him unfit to care for himself after I proved the woman was stealing his money. My father got angry and said I was nosy and butting in his business. Well it's going on 2 yrs. and adult protective services is so backed up they have not yet addressed his case. I did recover some of his money but not enough to repair the damage. so who wins in this case.
Josie January 19, 2013 at 07:01 PM
No need for name calling and insults. If you read my story below people need to watch out for their family. Even thou my dad was a manger male whore, I still watched out for him. And it happens to women as much as it does to men. People just need to watch out before digging deep into their pockets, and learn to use their resources. He could have done a some what backround check on that Asian female.
Josie January 19, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I meant to put "MAJOR" not manger, thank's
Katherine O'Boyle January 19, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Seems like if someone willfully gives you gifts, it isn't illegal. Just like if she gambled away $1,000,000, she cannot sue the casino. There will always be foolish people, and a fool and his money soon part.
Bob B January 20, 2013 at 04:09 AM
That's a 'bombshell'? Not! I see much prettier women in Elk Grove than this loser.
M.Legison January 20, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Modern day gypsy.
Tom Brown January 20, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Sounds like a hooker and a horny old man to me. Oh yea. I forgot. There are no hookers in Elk Grove.


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