A Colorado man was arrested for defrauding a woman out of more than $100,000 by claiming to be a former football player for the Denver Broncos, police said.
James Otis Turner, 49, of Highlands Ranch, was busted Friday and taken into custody at the Douglas County Jail after an arrest warrant was obtained by detectives in Castle Rock for felony charges of theft, forgery, identity theft and criminal impersonation, police announced Wednesday.
Investigators said a woman in Castle Rock told police in October that Turner convinced her he was a former player for the Broncos by the name of Dante Sir Foster. But Turner has had no affiliation with the team or the NFL, police said.
A news release announcing the alleged scheme did not indicate how much money Turner bilked from the woman or how the alleged scheme worked, but a police spokesman said the amount exceeded $100,000.
Messages seeking additional comment from police in Castle Rock were not immediately returned early Thursday.
Turner was arrested in October by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in connection with an unrelated sexual assault. Since that time, several women have told investigators that he identified himself to them as a Denver Bronco.
Turner’s alleged scheme seemingly involves at least two bogus blogs — including one from 2016 — that identified him as Dante Foster, a defensive back formerly known as James Morgan who was raised in San Antonio.
“Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were first to show interest and eventually landed with the Minnesota Vikings for the 2011-2012 season,” one post read. “Unfortunately, due to injury he was unable to play after injuries which brought his season abruptly to an end.”
Another blog from March 2017 identified Turner as Dante Sir Foster and teased the prospect of seeing his “familiar face” around Minneapolis during the team’s upcoming “spring training camp,” which typically starts in mid-July. But as the earlier blog alluded, Turner’s budding career was beset by injuries.
“Dante’s career has been action packed and nothing short of exciting while he has been playing professional football internationally thus far into his career,” the website reads. “Unfortunate, and far too common, injuries have temporarily relocated him back to Texas most recently.”
Attempts to reach Turner, who has been released on bond, were unsuccessful early Thursday.
A police spokesman told the Denver Post that investigators believe Turner may have victimized other women with his bogus gridiron past.
“We’re hoping this will prompt women who did not realize, or did not report that they were a victim of this guy, to come forward,” police spokesman Joe Cybert told the newspaper.
Anyone with information about Turner is asked to call Castle Rock police at (720) 733-3517.
Cybert told KDVR that Turner’s alleged scheme was sly and calculating.
“To get over $100,000 from a victim, he’s definitely crafty in what he’s doing,” Cybert told the station. “He’s claiming to be someone that he’s not — and is proceeding on with criminal activity and the potential for victims could be far more than we could ever anticipate.”
One of the women who told investigators that Turner introduced himself as a Bronco said she met him at a gas station.
“He was sitting in his nice car, was very well dressed and he asked, ‘Do you know who I am?’” Anny Cristofano told the station. “I said, ‘No, I have no idea.’ He said, ‘I play for the Broncos.’ I said, ‘Oh that’s cool,’ and then he asked if I wanted to come over and meet him and if I could give him my phone number.”
The bizarre allegations caught the attention of the “real” Dante Foster, a wide receiver who graduated from Ohio University and who signed with the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad in 2014 before being cut by the Tennessee Titans in 2016.
“Yeah I’ve heard,” Foster wrote on Twitter of his apparent impostor. “Sad to hear.”