Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Nik Richie's gossip site, “The Dirty”, featured would-be playah and convicted Northern Michigan con man David Lee Hunter: 

DAVID HUNTER lied & said he had a private jet, houses in Hawaii, etc just because he wanted sex! 

I told my girl lets leave him at coachella bc his boy stole my weed & David Hunter, although he claimed he had a black Amex with no limits, couldn’t even throw in on gas money on the way home! 

David Hunter went on & on about the rockstars he knows, his assets, etc. when I was half asleep he tried to put his hands down my pants. 

When I said no he said “what about Hawaii?” LOL like I would sleep with him for his fake Hawaii houses! 

This David guy did cocaine that my girl had stashed in a Porta Potty in the hot desert sun for HOURS. 

He broke into her car and slept and begged for a ride home when it was all said & done. 

The  following story was first published on this blog April 19, 2013, under the headline "Misadventures In Paradise: David Lee Hunter's Hawaiian Hustle".

[NOTE: At his request, the name of Hunter's former boss and other identifying details, including the name and location of his restaurant, have been kept confidential.] 

When David Hunter breezed into the sea side Hawaiian restaurant in early 2005, its owner thought he’d found his perfect Dining Room Manager. 

Full of a con man’s superficial charm, and flaunting the brawny good looks of action star Vin Diesel, Hunter had a grifter’s narrative and an important quality shared by nearly every fraudster—he could fake authenticity. 

The owner of the recently launched restaurant, who needed a quick hire, listened raptly as Hunter spun stories about the fabulous places he’d worked, the night he'd gotten a $100 dollar tip and the big ideas he had for expanding the new business. 

Hunter was hired, and quickly impressed his new boss by scoring a huge mark-up on a cache of middling wine—selling the wine that retailed at $25 for $150 a bottle. 

But this Hawaiian orchid’s bloom faded quickly when Hunter’s boss received a call from a credit card company attempting to verify an unusually large charge. 

Checking with his customer, the owner learned that while the customer had eaten at the restaurant on the night the card was swiped, the amount charged far exceeded the cost of his dinner. 

The man’s business partner called the police, and Hunter was arrested. 

After making bail, Hunter broke down and sobbed during a meeting with his bosses. 

Crying so hard his tears soaked the t-shirt he wore, the restaurant owner said he thought he "might have to get a mop” to clean up the fish pond of tears puddling on the floor at Hunter’s feet. Hunter begged for his job, even offering to work for free. 

The owners relented, and things were fine...for a couple months. 

One night in mid-2005, the restaurant’s night janitor came to work after the restaurant had closed, and found David Hunter still at work in the office closing out the night’s receipts and preparing the next day’s bank deposit. She reported it to her bosses, who confronted Hunter. 

And guess what? Since most of us don’t swim in the same gene stream as Hunter, we might not understand how charisma and coolness under pressure blend smoothly in some folks like milk chocolate and peanut butter. 

Hunter assured the men that he had dutifully come back to the restaurant after a night of bar hopping to finish up his closing duties. 

The men accepted Hunter’s story and agreed to “trust him”, but decided to keep a closer watch on his activities. 

And it didn’t take long—a few weeks later, the restaurant’s chef arrived at early one morning to open up, and found David Hunter (yes, you guessed it) in the office, working on the computer. 

The chef’s report to the owners spurred forensic and IT audits—and the results indicated that Hunter had allegedly skimmed at least $25,000 from the restaurant in less than 10 months. 

The audit appeared to show Hunter had created a sophisticated, months-long scheme to skim a portion of each day’s receipts without leaving a paper trail, an operation that included manipulating the nightly receipts and diverting the cash to his own bank account. 

In addition, he had altered the company’s records so that the owners would not easily discover his discrepancies. 

The fiscal fandango had stopped, and Hunter was cornered—but even he’d never guess what would happen next. 

“In Hawaii, there are families who never call the police with a problem,” the restaurant owner told Miss Fortune. “They take care of it by themselves.” 

Convincing Hunter to meet by offering a con man’s favorite wholesome snack — flattery —the business partners sat Hunter down and demanded his U. S. passport, Hawaiian drivers license, and Social Security card. 

They told Hunter they wouldn’t press charges if he repaid the men the money he’d skimmed —$25,000. 

Hunter reportedly signed a confession, and prevailed upon his then mother-in-law to loan him $15,000, paying off the rest in $1,000 monthly increments. 

Later, the men learned that Hunter had repaid his debt the old-fashioned way—he'd reportedly stolen it from another Hawaiian restaurant. 

But what would you expect from a guy who, according to the manager, “convinced eight restaurant employees to hand over $1,000 each to accompany Hunter and his bride on their cruise ship honeymoon. And none of them, including Hunter, had even asked for time off!” 

Hunter’s former boss went on to build a successful business, expanding his restaurant to include catering. 

Hunter and his wife later divorced, and he moved on to Miami where a June 18, 2009 complaint filed with the Martin County Sheriff's office alleged investment fraud relating to a World Bikini Football League team ownership sale. 

According to a now-retired Miami police detective who contacted the Hawaiian restaurant owner, Hunter's alleged victim estimated the amount taken was north of $45,000. 

The charges were later dropped against Hunter when the money was returned. 

In 2008, Hunter reached out to his former boss, sending him an email signed “Paradox Hunter”. 

Miss Fortune couldn’t have said it better.

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