"Geovanni Kasanova," Bronx Con Man, Seduced Bank Tellers In Identity Theft Scheme

Pro tip for single ladies: if a man introduces himself to you at a club as Geovanni Kasanova, it's a big red flag. Do not become his girlfriend. Do not let him convince you to access people's accounts at the bank where you work, making you a co-conspirator in a large-scale grand larceny and identity theft scheme. That exact situation is what two young women in the Bronx, Kia Wylie and Malika Williams, are accused of having been a part of.

Kasanova's real name is Richard Dames. According to Anthony Evans, Mikala Williams' lawyer, the 25-year-old Williams met Kasanova/Dames,33, at a club called Taboo about a year and a half ago. "He was, as the kids would say, fronting," Evans told me. "He's a real character -- if your daughter's not involved."

Williams, like co-defendant Wylie (there are six defendants in all -- the others are men), began dating Kasanova/Dames almost immediately and was under the impression that they were in an exclusive relationship, according to her lawyer. It wasn't the case, as he was conspiring with/pretending to date other bank tellers at other banks. She is accused of grand larceny and conspiracy and was arraigned yesterday.

According to Williams' lawyer Evans, Kasanova was "pushy" and told Williams he'd "have his assistant get her number" and buy drinks for all her girlfriends upon meeting her. Williams, who Evans describes as "five foot two, 220 pounds, and very shy," allegedly accessed customer accounts at the Chase Bank where she worked and sold the victims' information to Dames/Kasanova. 

Dames, a predicate felon with a record of crimes in 2004, 2006, and 2010, favored a gold "GK" medallion and when asked about Williams, said "I know several Malikas," according to the Daily News. Williams' lawyer says that she didn't even know Kasanova's real name till yesterday; "the social media generation understands a nom de plume," he said. "She wasn't in any way suspicious of this guy."

Not that it's our business to meddle in anyone's love life, but she probably should have been. Did Williams and Wylie really not know what they were getting into? Or did they know exactly what was going on? And why did Kasanova insist on such an egregious misspelling of his pseudonym?

[NYDN]

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]


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