The story of John Eric Wells is completely fascinating. If you’ve never heard of him. John is a man who faked an 8.9-million-pound lottery win back in 1996. But wait! The story gets even more incredible and unbelievable. A con man once seems to be a con man forever, or at least such is the case for John Eric Wells.
Faking a Lottery Win
It all started in the distant 1996. The case was so famous that it inspired the creation of the movie Can’t Buy Me Love.
Described as very charismatic and convincing, John Eric Wells is a convicted conman who served a prison sentence for the lottery fraud he committed in 1996.
At the time, under the assumed name of Howard Walmsley, John Eric Wells told his then-wife that he had won an 8.9-million-pound jackpot from the lottery. He made grand promises like buying her a 300,000-pound farmhouse.
Eric Wells had won absolutely nothing.
Under the guise of a lottery millionaire, he conned numerous people and businesses. Police investigation eventually showed that he had conned a solicitor, an architect, banks, a car company, and two of his women friends.
Once police got to him, John Eric Wells said that he organized the con in an attempt to save his marriage. He immediately confessed to 12 offenses, saying that while working on the relationship with his wife, he got carried away in the jackpot millionaire fantasy.
The scam continued from 1997 to 1999. Over that period, John Eric Wells scammed people and businesses out of 37,000 pounds. Many people gave him money or goods. He kept them waiting with false promises of an eventual payoff.
Banks were also duped into giving him credits, and the car firm gave him access to three Jaguars. That’s a very convincing man to achieve such greatness out of nothing!
For the lottery fraud scheme, John Eric Wells received a three-year prison sentence.
Wanted by the Police Again
The story did not end there, and the fact that he got busted did very little to rehabilitate John Eric Wells.
As of September 2019, our lottery con man is wanted by the South Yorkshire police for love scams and tricking three women into giving him a total sum of over 400,000 pounds over five years.
Now aged 61, John Eric Wells is being blamed for ruining the lives of his victims. One of them, 70-year-old Hazel Wilkins, said that John had scammed her out of her entire life savings totaling 63,000 pounds.
John convinced Hazel to quit her job at the time, telling her that he had a large restaurant in Guernsey. He painted sweet pictures of managing the business as a couple. These promises never came to reality.
According to Hazel, John also told her that he owned numerous hotels around the world. He frequently went on “business trips” and sent her photos from the most exotic destinations imaginable. In reality, during the time he was away from her, John was with two other women, and he was treating them in the same way as Hazel.
Eventually, the story got darker.
John told Hazel that he had cancer. He canceled wedding plans and asked for money. In 2017, he disappeared altogether. He left Hazel repaying loans of more than 17,000 pounds that he had taken out in her name.
With time, Hazel got in touch with John’s other victims, and this is a house; a complete picture of the scam was painted. The victims eventually approached the police, and an investigation was launched to find out the scale of the fraud.
According to Hazel, John Eric Wells was so convincing and believable that it was impossible to turn down his requests. While she felt foolish upon uncovering the fraud scheme, she was utterly smitten with her charming man at the time.
Police found out that John Eric Wells was taking money from one of his lady friends to court the other and vice versa.
Right now, John Eric Wells is wanted in connection with high-value romance fraud. Police are seeking information from anyone who may have seen or heard John Eric Wells recently to determine his whereabouts and bring him to justice.
John Eric Wells Is in Vietnam with a Wealthy Lover?
The reason that the police can’t get their hands on Eric Wells is that he’s living abroad in Southeast Asia with a wealthy lover.
Or at least this is what media reports claim.
According to The Mirror, John Eric Wells has been tracked to Vietnam, where he is running a bar. How exactly did he acquire the bar, however? You’ve probably guessed it already – a wealthy lover purchased on his behalf.
Supposedly, John Eric Wells is now spending his time with a wealthy hotelier in Southeast Asian countries. Some sources suggest this may be his newest victim.
According to the anonymous source claiming to be a John Eric Wells friend, the woman is Vietnamese, and she spent approximately 23,000 pounds on the acquisition of the bar for him.
The report also states that the bar was operational for three months. After hitting a rough patch, John Eric Wells quit, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
This is all speculation and he-say, she-say. The Mirror used an anonymous source, and it’s not clear whether John Eric Wells has made his scam international. One thing is known for sure, however. The whole affair didn’t end with the lottery scam of 1996. John Eric Wells continued his fraudulent ways in a brand new style, and eventually, the police will have a hold of him and bring him to justice again.