A 35-year-old man accused of stealing more than $80,000 from a Georgia woman he met on an online dating website has been arrested in Tennessee and likely has multiple victims in other states, authorities say.
John Martin Hill, nicknamed the “Sweetheart Swindler,” was arrested Tuesday night in Franklin and lodged in the Williamson County jail.
According to an arrest affidavit, Franklin police received information that Hill was at the Marriott Hotel on Cool Springs Boulevard.
Officers responded to the hotel around 8:10 p.m. and located Hill hiding under a table in a conference room, the paperwork states.
The police department in Gwinnett County, Georgia said a woman had contacted officers earlier this year and advised she met a man named John Hill on Match.com.
She told officers they interacted March 27 and met in person on that same day.
“During their meeting, he told her that he was a millionaire,” Corporal Michele Pihera with the Gwinnett County Police Department explained. “During their short romance, he convinced her that not only were they in love and wanted to get married, but he also wanted to buy a house together.”
Within a week of knowing one another, they agreed to get married, police said.
After the victim reportedly gave Hill more than $80,000 to use toward the purchase of a house and furniture, the suspect ceased all communication with the woman.
Gwinnett County police have since heard from other women who stated they were either in a relationship with Hill or knew someone who was romantically involved with him.
The department said further investigation into John Hill revealed that he had changed his name at least five times in the past two and a half years and committed similar crimes in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.
“There’s no telling how many victims are out there. We have identified at least eight departments that are looking into him,” Corporal Pihera stated. “We’re having a lot of people reach out to us and direct us to other aliases that he’s using so it’s highly possible that there are other victims in other states, including Tennessee.”
Gwinnett County police are asking any potential victims to contact detectives at 770-513-5300.