TOMS RIVER – A young man admitted that he befriended a 73-year-old blind woman who lived alone so that he could open credit cards in her name.
Tyler Dietlmeier, 28, of Toms River, pleaded guilty to Theft by Deception and Criminal Coercion. His sentencing is scheduled for December 18, 2020. The state will be seeking a term of seven years to New Jersey State Prison for the Theft charge, and four years for the Coercion charge. These sentences would run at the same time. Additionally, he has to pay the woman back.
The crimes got on the police radar when they were reported on January 27, 2020. Toms River Police investigated fraudulent activity on the woman’s finances. They learned that Dietlmeier had befriended, under false pretenses, his victim. Beginning in October of 2019, he opened numerous credit card accounts in her name, added his name to her existing accounts, increased credit limits, and changed phone numbers so she wouldn’t get fraud alerts.
He also rented cards using her information and accessed her bank accounts, police said. Most of the time, he bought gift cards with her credit cards, which he would then sell for cash. In the end, he obtained more than $100,000 through his fraud.
“Additionally, when the victim questioned Dietlmeier about the possibility that he had defrauded her, he threatened to harm her and her family if she reported her concerns to law enforcement,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.
“To stoop so low as to take advantage of an elderly person, who also happens to live alone and is legally blind, is about as reprehensible as it gets,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Let the message be sent that we will not tolerate con artists who prey upon and victimize our seniors and the disabled. We will continue to be vigilant investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against the most vulnerable in our community who, because of their age or disability, simply cannot fight for themselves.”
Billhimer acknowledged the work of Assistant Prosecutors Christopher Heisler, Taylor Toscano, and Timothy Kelly who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division for their combined efforts in connection with this investigation which ultimately resulted in today’s guilty plea, and soon, Dietlmeier’s state prison sentence.