A Cranston woman was arrested this week for allegedly scamming $95,000 from a Waterford man she was reportedly having a “sex for money” relationship with.
Waterford Police arrested Melissa Cullen, 45, of 34 Briarbrooke Lane, Cranston, on a charge of first-degree larceny and second-degree larceny after she allegedly scammed Waterford’s Chester Lickwola out of $95,000. She told Lickwola she was using the money to start a Westerly business, but instead spent it on elective surgery, liquor, tanning, shows, limousines and a $1,000 dog, among other things, according to police.
Lickwola and Cullen were allegedly having a “sex for money” relationship before Cullen asked for the $95,000 to fund a business that never existed, according to police. Cullen has since posted $200,000 bond and is expected to appear in court on December 18th.
According to an arrest warrant written by Waterford Police Det. John Davis, Lickwola found Cullen through an “adult-orientated personal ad” on Craigslist.com and began e-mailing her in the summer and fall of 2010. In an interview with police, Cullen said the two eventually met and began to have a “sex for money” relationship. Cullen was married, but her husband Steve was okay with the arrangement and actually encouraged her affairs, according to Davis’ report.
In December of 2010, Cullen told Lickwola that she wanted to start a business in Westerly, RI, and asked him to back it financially, according to the report. Lickwola obliged, giving her $60,000 on Dec. 14, 2010 and another $35,000 in January 2011, according to the report.
After he gave her the money, Lickwola noticed the “communication began to dwindle” between him and Cullen, according to Davis’ report. He began to wonder if it was a scam, and found she had moved to Cranston without his knowledge, according to the report. On June 21, 2012, Lickwola came to the Waterford Police Department and made a formal complaint, according to the report.
Police executed a search warrant on Cullen’s account and found $95,000 had been moved from Lickwola’s account to Cullen’s, according to the report. They also found she spent nearly all of the money, and “none of the expenditures would appear to be related to those costs normally associated with a business start-up,” according to the report. Instead, the money was spent on liquor, a $1,000 dog, elective surgery, tanning and other luxuries, according to Davis’ report.
On Oct. 18, 2012, police interviewed Cullen at her home in Cranston, RI. Cullen said she used the money to hire an architect, a lawyer and to buy building materials, but could produce no evidence of any of that, according to Davis’ report. When police contacted the lawyer and architect Cullen said she contacted, they said they had brief conversations with her months before Lickwola gave her the money, according to the report.
First-degree larceny is a Class B felony and second-degree larceny is a Class C felony. Cullen is set to appear in New London Superior Court on December 18th.