A Belfast conman who passed tens of thousands of dollars in bad cheques faces being deported back to Northern Ireland, following a seven year stint in an American jail.
Kevin Barry McAuley, who was branded a “menace to society” by a judge, used a bizarre tale to get people in the state of Montana to part with their cash before being caught.
The 46-year-old said he was an ex-US Army Ranger from a millionaire background and had lost his wife in a Christmas Day car crash.
McAuley wrote bad cheques, including one in part-payment for a bar before the fraudster was handed the maximum sentence for fraud - ten years, with three of those suspended.
McAuley was previously deported from the US but went back, arriving in the state of Florida by boat.
Sentencing him, US judge Dorothy McCarter described him as a “menace to society” and said she would have given him more prison time if the law had permitted.
It has emerged that the Belfast man has a string of convictions in various US states including others for making bad cheques and for assault.
One of his victims, Daniel Mohn gave evidence that he had befriended McAuley at a local bar.
“I gave him all my savings. The guy is just a professional con artist.
“He’s the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t send him to prison, send him to my house. I’ll fix him,” reports the Irish Daily Mail.
The conman initially pleaded not guilty for passing bad cheques but changed his plea just days before going on trial in April.
His previous convictions relate to an incident in Wisconsin where he helped run an Irish bar near Milwaukee and organised an Irish festival. That conviction secured his deportation back to Belfast but he managed to return to the US.
It was an immigration check following a domestic disturbance call that led to his arrest in Colorado, and eventual extradition to Montana to face charges.