A Dorchester man who admitted conning people out of money last fall through a convincing sob story was sentenced to three years in state prison yesterday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
As part of a plea agreement in which he was branded "a common and notorious thief" on 25 counts of larceny and "uttering" (writing bogus checks), Williams also agreed to leave Massachusetts within 60 days of his release from prison - and to stay out until at least Dec. 7, 2021 - the District Attorney's office reports, adding Williams already has a 30-page criminal record featuring 35 convictions for larceny-related offenses.
The DA's office says the suit-wearing Williams, also known as Ray Diamond, Rudy Diamond and Ruby Diamond, would typically approach people with a sob story about needing to get his car out of the shop. At least a dozen people handed over money, in some cases losing up to $1,000, the DA's office says:
Frequently wearing a suit and claiming to be from out of town, Williams would present victims with check to deposit, either asking for all of the face value in cash or offering the victim a small percentage to keep for himself. Each of the checks either had a forged signature or was itself a forgery. All of them later bounced.
In one incident, after presenting the victim with a forged $1,500 check to deposit, Williams took the man's driver's license as bogus "collateral" until the next day, when the victim would give him $1,500 in cash. That victim became suspicious and notified police. Williams never appeared for their scheduled rendezvous.
Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors assigned to the case linked the various incidents not only through Williams' appearance and consistent modus operandi, but also through a telephone number he gave to nine of his victims: Williams had set up an outgoing voice mail identifying it as the number for Diamond Engineering, which linked up to the "Ray Diamond" and "Rudy Diamond" aliases he used in his cons and bogus checks made out to Diamond Engineering that two of his victims accepted and deposited.
In a statement, DA Dan Conley said the Williams case showed why people should always be suspicious of sob stories from strangers:
There's a saying that you can't cheat an honest man, but we've seen many people with only the best intentions fall victims to scams like this. Most of the victims in this case felt suspicious at one point or another, and I'd advise everyone to follow their instincts in a similar situation.