Wednesday, October 27

Man loses everything in elaborate ‘Fonzie’ scheme.

Westerville, OH - Simon Schwartz recently lost his life savings after being taken by an elderly man riding an antique motorcycle.

“He stopped and presented what sounded like a real cool opportunity.” Schwartz said before revealing further details of the con.

From the Orient
The scam-artist in question, Arthur Fonzarelli, 75, first approached Schwartz with an offer to buy an overstock of silk kimonos Fonzarelli’s late father had purchased and shipped over from the Orient in 1957.

“He told me how popular those things were in Milwaukee. Said I’d have exclusive Columbus distribution rights. There was just something about the guy I couldn’t resist.” Schwartz explained. “He snapped his fingers and I ran inside to get my checkbook.”

When Schwartz reemerged, checkbook in hand, he discovered his wife and Fonzarelli ‘making out’ in the driveway.

“I didn’t even care.” Schwartz said. “If I’m being honest, I kind of wished it were me.”

The kimonos never came, and the phone number Fonzarelli provided was actually the number to a Wisconsin prison, a place Fonzarelli’s cousin, Charles Arcola, 68, has called home since 1968.

“I gave him the check.” Schwartz offered, fighting back tears. “And as he was driving off he gave me the thumbs-up sign, told me he’d sit on it ... In hindsight, he may have told me to sit on it.”