A Fraud of Many Faces

A man, who allegedly even conned his parents, used cosmetic surgery to scam people.

By Greg Bledsoe
|  Thursday, Dec 3, 2009  |  Updated 7:58 AM PDT
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A Fraud of Many Faces

A fraud artist with many faces is how prosecutors describe 37-year-old Tyler Adams.
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Tyler Adams is a fraud artist with many faces and many names, prosecutors said. He targeted his own parents in a real estate scam. He targeted faceless others in an internet scam. He even targeted large banks in a fake-business scam.

Now, Tyler -- born 37 years ago in Pennsylvania with the name Kevin Schoolcraft -- is sitting in a San Diego jail, facing 41 felony charges, including identity theft, grand theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and more.

According to court documents from San Diego, Adams stole the identity of his mother and stepfather to buy five condos in San Diego worth more than $3,000,000 combined. The documents say he then collected rent on the units, but never paid the mortgage.  All five condos eventually went into foreclosure. 

The allegations also allege Adams posed as the Realtor in the sale of the condos and collected another $180,000 in commission fees.

His mother and stepfather live in a mobile home in Pennsylvania worth an estimated $50,000.  When they were contacted about the condos going into foreclosure, they suspected their son, but were unable to reach him.

Adams had moved to Hawaii, where he was indicted this week on an entirely different set of scams.  Prosecutors in Honolulu say Adams created five fictitious businesses, and then used fake checks to collect more than $130,000 from two banks.

"They all appeared to be legitimate," said deputy prosecutor Chris Van Marter. "(The banks) treated him very well."

He also had many names. Investigators in Hawaii discovered two identification cards from a local law school with Adams’ picture and two different names.  He had a driver's license with a third name, officials said.

Pictures show that Adams changed his appearance as often as his name.  Prosecutors in Hawaii say Adams even had plastic surgery.

Court records in San Diego also show Adams is wanted in Riverside county for an Internet scam where he allegedly took money for selling a Rolex watch, but never delivered the watch.

"Very bright individual, but on the other hand, he's a con man, a sociopath who had no regard for the victims," Van Marter said.

Adams was arrested in Los Angeles last month.  He's now being held in San Diego, and scheduled to be back in court next month.  If convicted of the charges against him in San Diego, he's facing more than 25 years in prison.

Photos provided by KHNL

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