On the Trail of a California Grifter, Part 1: The Ladies Strike Back

CAPTION: Jeffery Lang, advertising salesman, convicted felon, grifter. Photo courtesy of R.V Scheide.

Jeffery Lang, advertising salesman, convicted felon, grifter. Photo courtesy of R.V Scheide.

Meet Jeffrey Lang, advertising salesman, convicted felon, grifter. Currently, he resides in the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Sacramento County, where he awaits trial on six felony charges that include the forgery or counterfeiting of seals, grand theft of money, labor and personal property, and the unlawful use of personal identifying information.

Lang is of course presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charges, brought by two Sacramento professional women who allege he swindled them out of tens of thousands of dollars through forgery, fraud and identity theft. But my spidey sense is tingling. I know this grifter, Jeffrey Lang. Broken hearts and empty wallets seem to follow him wherever he goes.

I should know, because he broke and emptied mine.

Grifting is an old-school term referring to “nonviolent” criminal activities such as pick-pocketing, check-kiting and small-scale Ponzi schemes where perpetrators use skill, charm and subterfuge instead of brute force to financially disable their prey. Lang’s preferred grift is the advertising salesman who cons clients into signing checks directly to him instead of the agency he’s representing.

Those were the types of criminal activities he was charged of in 2012 in Humboldt County. Lang pleaded guilty to among other things forging $135,000 worth of checks from a local advertising agency. Those may sound like serious charges, but thanks to the new sentencing guidelines established by AB 109, the prison realignment bill passed by the California Legislature in 2011, Lang was sentenced to just 180 days in jail and five years probation. He was also ordered to pay $160,000 in restitution.

And here’s the real rub: Lang spent just 50 days behind bars before being placed in the work-release program.The authorities figured the nonviolent inmate could get a head-start on paying down that $160,000. With his sullied reputation, he could hardly be expected to earn a living as an ad salesman in Humboldt County, so he was allowed to relocate to Sacramento, which is where I come into the picture.

I’d first met Lang previous to his conviction, at the Sacramento News and Review in 2008, where I was news editor and he was sales manager from 2008 until his 2010 indictment. Advertising and editorial are separated at SNR, so I didn’t see him much. From what I did see, he seemed like the stereotypical athletic, gregarious, rah-rah, cheerleader type you frequently find filling head sales positions. Some people say he has charisma. I didn’t see it then.

Writing from a distance, I’m certain that back then no one at SNR except Lang knew that Humboldt County authorities were building a case against him. I had left SNR by the time Lang was indicted in December, 2010, but I heard about it, because his indictment made a few headlines, notably because news media companies were among the victims of his shady tactics.

But for whatever reason—perhaps because grifters just aren’t that newsworthy—local media didn’t track the progress of Lang’s case, and no one appears to have reported on his 2012 conviction. That permitted Lang to slip back into Sacramento under the radar and back into my life in the summer of 2013.

The first issue of SacAlt Magazine.

The first issue of SacAlt Magazine.

The Cannabis Magazine Catastrophe

I was reunited with Lang that summer at the launch party for the first issue of SacAlt magazine, a cannabis lifestyle monthly magazine founded by Lang and his business partner. It was funded by advertisements from Sacramento’s two dozen or so medical marijuana collectives. The first issue was printed on nice glossy paper, but had been thrown together hastily and was poorly written and edited. Lang immediately approached me about editing the magazine. The first thing I asked him was what had happened with his indictment.

Lang told me that it had been settled out of court. It had been a “political” prosecution, by a vindictive Humboldt County DA still sore because of Lang’s work on an opponent’s campaign. It was an elaborate tale, but when I checked up on it, all I could find was the original story about the 2010 indictment, which I skimmed again but didn’t read in detail. I really should have paid more attention.

In my defense, I was vulnerable at the time. Print journalism was and is going down the tubes, there weren’t a lot opportunities knocking, and here was a ready-made project that appeared to be well-funded. I am not immune to the rah-rah guy approach, and to be frank, I badly needed the $1600 per month I was to be paid to develop, write and edit the magazine. So I decided to ignore the red flag and give Lang the benefit of the doubt.

It was hard work but it was great to be back in the journalism game full-time. I put my head down and kept ignoring the warnings. When I learned Market1Media, the company that published SacAlt, was not owned by Lang and two mysterious deep-pocketed partners as I had been told originally, I said, well, it’s a start-up publication. It’s to be expected.

When my first paycheck from Market1Media bounced, I said, well, it’s a start-up. It’s to be expected.

When I was paid with a medical marijuana dispensary check written out directly to me, I said, well, it’s a start-up, and cashed the check.

When I stood on the corner and Lang handed me cash from his car as if we were conducting a drug transaction, I said, damn, I need the money (it was late and only half what I was owed).

Although virtually nothing Lang told me during the four months I worked with him turned out be true, I heeded none of these warnings. We were developing a good product, feedback from readers and the marijuana community was great, the money appeared to be pouring in. Then, all of a sudden, we came up $6500 short on the printing cost for the third issue. The printer wouldn’t release the magazine. The red flags could no longer be ignored.

I went back to the 2010 story about Lang’s indictment and re-read it. One of the primary ways Lang siphoned money from the agency he worked at was by instructing advertising clients to write out checks directly to him instead of the agency (note to ad clients: never, ever do this). That’s his grift. I got a sick feeling in my stomach.

I called Hank Sims in Eureka, the reporter who wrote the story about Lang’s indictment. He informed me that Lang pleaded guilty to felony theft in 2012 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and five years of probation. Sims had since moved on to another media outlet, and his former paper didn’t cover the conviction.

I called Humboldt County Adult Probation and talked to Lang’s probation officer, who confirmed what Sims told me. He also told me that until I or someone else took Lang to small claims court and prevailed, Lang was not legally violating his probation. This is the essence of grifting, knowing just how far to go without being prosecuted.

Next I talked to Eureka Police Department detective Ron Prose, who helped put together the case against Lang. Prose informed me that Lang was originally charged with embezzling more than $380,000–that amount was later reduced to $160,000 during Lang’s plea deal negotiations. Prose added that many of Lang’s victims were still upset he’d done so little jail time.

Any illusion I had that Lang was a legitimate businessman was shattered after talking to the Humboldt County authorities. I’d asked Lang point-black about the indictment before signing on to the magazine project, and he’d straight-up lied to me. I believed him, gave him the benefit of the doubt, because I wanted to believe him. I needed to believe him. It’s not a good feeling, realizing you’ve been grifted.

After learning the truth, I immediately called a meeting at my house—which served as SacAlt’s office, since Lang had never rented office space despite promising numerous times to do so—and confronted Lang and his business partner with the hard facts over my dining room table.

Lang hung his head like a dog caught in the act, but his partner refused to believe my allegations. He couldn’t believe the man sitting next to him was a convicted felon, and he wasn’t the only one. There were several SacAlt staffers who remained loyal to the end. Lang has that effect on people. We agreed to go our separate ways, and I freely admit I went nuclear on Jeffrey Lang’s reputation.

I called every SacAlt advertiser and told them about Lang’s criminal history. That pretty much killed the magazine. I broadcast his criminal history on Facebook—where you can still find it today—to warn people to beware of doing business with him. I stand by every word I’ve written.

Through further digging, I discovered Lang was also working at a Sacramento area senior magazine that summer of 2013. The publisher alleged that she’d caught Lang instructing his clients to write checks to him instead of the magazine, including his own girlfriend at the time, a realtor he conned into purchasing a full-page ad.

What gradually began to dawn upon me once my anger subsided was that I was among the least of Lang’s victims. Not to minimize the impact on my life. I’d put a lot of time, energy and pride into the magazine, and I was owed $3000 in unpaid wages. It was a serious blow to my already strained financial situation, and I was forced to move from Sacramento to eastern Shasta County, where my family owns property.

If I’d stayed, I might have pursued Lang in small claims court. Then again, I might not have. There’s a long, long line of people waiting for Jeffrey Lang to pay them back.

The felonies Jeffrey Lang faces in Sacramento County via inmate information.

The felonies Jeffrey Lang faces in Sacramento County via inmate information.

Lady’s Man On The Long Con

That was 3 years ago and time heals all wounds. I hadn’t given Jeffrey Lang much thought for months when out of the blue on December 1, I was contacted by Shannon from Yuba County on Facebook. Shannon was searching for information about Lang, and she’d come upon my Facebook posts. The internet is forever.

Shannon is her real first name, she’s a real person and I have verified her existence. I am not using her last name at her request. She doesn’t want her whole name turning up in internet searches for convicted felon Jeffrey Lang, a very real possibility.

It’s important to reiterate that Lang is presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charges he is currently facing in Sacramento County Superior Court. Some of what you’re about to read may sound incredible, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily illegal activity. Again, that’s the essence of grifting.

Shannon alleges that after meeting Lang on an online dating site in August last year, they hit it off, and he commissioned her to write a business proposal for an edible cannabis company located in Placer County. I’ve confirmed that this company exists.

By October, she felt comfortable enough to allow Lang to stay in her place several days while his condo was being remodeled. She claims she provided him a short-term loan of $5000 to further their business proposal with the edibles company.

But by November, Shannon was having her doubts. She discovered there was no condo and Lang balked at paying back the loan. She started digging online for information and found the story about his 2010 indictment. She found my Facebook posts from 2013. Now she was asking me what she could do to get her money back.

I told her to call Lang’s probation officer, even though I knew what he was going to tell her: File a case in small claims court and get in line. December went by, New Year’s came and went and I figured nothing had come of it when Shannon messaged me on Facebook with remarkable news on January 11.

“You will be pleased to know that Jeffrey Lang is in jail,” she said.

I was astonished and went to Sacramento County’s website and confirmed that indeed, Lang was in custody, had been in custody since December 21, at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, for the aforementioned felony charges. He is also on a PC 1275 hold, meaning he is ineligible for bail by law enforcement request.

Shannon further informed me that she and five other women, each of whom alleges they’ve been both intimate with and financially victimized by Lang, had been on hand that morning for the would-be Lothario’s arraignment in Sacramento Superior Court. It was the first time they’d met, and they were disappointed when he didn’t appear, because his public defender had been reassigned.

The six women are all middle-class professionals, ranging in age from 30 to 50, some of them with grown kids, some with kids still in the home. They reside in four separate counties: Yuba, Sacramento, Placer and Sonoma.

I’ve interviewed four of them so far and have verified their identities. Five of them claim they met Lang through online dating sites. After his arrest, they learned of their shared existence as both Lang’s paramour-of-the-moment and creditor-of-last-resort, mostly through Shannon’s efforts, who first started connecting all of the dots.

A woman’s name on a credit card Lang allegedly used to pay for dinner on their first date led Shannon to one of the two victims that has filed charges against Lang in Sacramento County. I’ve talked to her, she’s a real person, but she wishes to remain anonymous. Sacramento County victim No. 1 comes from a Middle Eastern culture, her family doesn’t know she’s allegedly been swindled, and it will bring great shame upon them if they find out, which they will, if it goes to jury trial.

Victim No. 1 claims she met Lang through an online dating site in December 2014, about a year after I left Sacramento. She found Lang charismatic and was attracted to him physically. After a number of broken dates called off at the last minute by Lang, she alleges they eventually hooked up. By April, 2015, she claims he began asking her for a $4000 short-term loan, to purchase legal medicinal cannabis oil he planed to resell for a 10 percent profit, which would be returned to her with the original loan.

Eventually, she scraped up the $4000, in cash, which she claims she gave to Lang. The cannabis oil never materialized, which made her suspicious, as did the sudden disappearance of some of her valuable heirloom jewelry.

Nevertheless, by November, 2015, Lang was sleeping on her couch. She says she allowed him to stay off-and-on for seven months, partly because she felt sympathetic toward him and partly because she feared he wouldn’t pay her back if she wasn’t nice to him. She says she found out later that Lang had stolen her identity, opened four credit card accounts in her name and maxed all the cards out. That’s one of the felonies he’s charged with in Sacramento.

After she finally gave him the boot in May 2016, Lang took up residence with alleged Sacramento County victim No. 2. Unlike the other alleged victims, she met Lang through her running club, where he was friends with the club president. She liked his positive attitude and the way he made people feel good about themselves.

Such was the trust Lang gained from her in a short period of time, she didn’t think twice about bailing Lang out when he was arrested in late August in Sonoma County for yet another financial scam, this one involving a longtime friend of the Lang family. She was unaware of his previous conviction in Humboldt County, and by the time she’d grown wise to Lang’s grift, she claims her retirement account was drained by $32,000.

Allegedly opening those credit card accounts in Sacramento County victim No. 1’s name may turn out to be the crime that finally proves to Lang’s undoing. Two of the cards were made out to Sacramento County victim No. 2’s address. Victim No. 2 intercepted them in the mail and recognized victim No. 1’s name on the card as Lang’s supposed “ex” girlfriend. She contacted her, they compared notes, and not long after that they contacted the police department. Not long after that, Jeffrey Lang was arrested and thrown in jail with no bail.

Whether he stays in jail remains to be seen. I’ve contacted both the detective and prosecutor working on the Lang’s case in Sacramento County, and while confirming the general details of the charges, they refused to comment further. Having done a number of stories on AB 109 prison realignment and sentencing reforms, I’m acutely aware that keeping nonviolent criminals behind bars has become an increasingly dubious prospect, no matter how many people they’ve grifted.

That’s why I’ll be there at Lang’s next court hearing in Sacramento on Monday, February 6. I’ll be meeting up with the six women who allege Lang has swindled them in one way or another, and if he agrees to it, I’ll interview Lang himself, to get his side of the story. I”m sure he has a compelling explanation for why every one is so angry with him. I’ll be filing a follow-up report upon my return.

Editor’s note – Feb. 3, 2017: Since this story was first posted on Jan. 30, 2017, new information has surfaced that required revisions, primarily regarding fines and charges imposed. This current version of R.V. Scheide’s story reflects those corrections.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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47 Responses

  1. cheyenne says:

    Marijuana, being in a gray legal area, is ripe for grifters to take advantage of investors or employees.  Eventually it will become a multi billion dollar industry and everyone wants to get it on the beginning.

    I saw the same thing in Nebraska with ethanol.  Touted as the answer to America’s desire for alternate fuels and to make America independent of foreign fuels it provided grifters with a ripe opportunity.  Only in Nebraska many cities and counties were conned out of seed money as well as farmers and investors.  I worked in Bradshaw at a school and just outside of town on an empty plot of land stood a big sign, “Coming soon.  Big Red Ethanol”.  The grifter had a portfolio showing how he had been involved with the building of a successful golf course back east, false as it turned out.  But in a rural area that was suffering, this was before the shale oil boom, Ethanol sounded like a way to boost the economy and create jobs.  Unfortunately the Ethanol plants were heavily subsidized and when the subsidies ran out the plants stopped working.  There are some success stories, kinda of, the plant in Aurora has stayed in operation with periodic shut downs but there are several half built ethanol plants that never were built and many farmers lost money because some brokers went bankrupt.  And that Big Red sign has been replaced with another sign, “Stop the Keystone”.  Nebraskans have become leery of anyone promoting “Make America Independent” slogans.

  2. Great article! I am interested in the outcome, or rather, the continued saga.

  3. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    In my opinion, the grift that many participants don’t understand makes them grifters is multi-level marketing.  For the life of me, I don’t understand how these schemes are legal—any of them.  A product is sold, but the economics of the scheme are based on an impossible lie—that there is an endless supply of layers to be added to the base of the pyramid.  Add to that the legal but obnoxious practices of focusing on sucking your family and friends into the scheme first, and you have what should qualify as a tar-and-feathering offense.

    I find it fascinating that Provo/Orem area of Utah is considered by the FBI to be the grifter capital of the United States.  It’s the epicenter of shady MLM schemes in America, but also an orchard of purely illegal grifts. (One such Provo grifter was portrayed by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffmann in the movie, “Punch-Drunk Love.“)  The history behind Provo as Grift City, USA is fascinating.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been criminally grifted—I once loaned $1,000 to a “friend” who it turned out had no intention of paying me back in the agreed 30 days. I could ill afford the financial hit as a college student with kids. However, making a loan to a deadbeat doesn’t necessarily make you the victim of a crime, I don’t think—which is why some of the people in R.V.’s story were steered toward civil court. After nearly a year, some of what I said to convince my “friend” to repay the loan might have been borderline illegal, though.

    • cheyenne says:

      Wow, I spent the first 27 years of my life in Salt Lake City and never heard of Provo, home of BYU, as grafter City.  I’ll have to check that out.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      One thing that’s interesting about grifting is that it doesn’t really appear in the crime stats. When crime stats talk about check kiting, for example, it’s usually just your average joe and jill writing bad checks, not  a professional grifter.

      An interesting thing about Jeff Lang is, he IS a good salesman, that magazine would have made it, but somehow that just wasn’t enough for him. I hope he’ll talk to me.

  4. Matthew Meyer says:

    Nice work, RV.

  5. Ginny says:

    Waiting for the next installment. Thanks for telling your story, as too many people are victimized.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people, such as Lang, worked as hard at being honest. They would be millionaires!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      That’s one of the weird things about it. He actually IS a good salesman. That was the most maddening thing about it, the magazine could have successful, if they’d kept better track of the money.

      • Ginny says:

        No doubt he was a Great salesman!  But too bad he wasn’t honest, which evidently I  didn’t present it a such as I meant to do so.  With working within the laws to actually become rich…….

  6. Lazlo57 says:

    Some people just know how to work the system.  Not to mention they also know how to swindle the average person. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling when the true reality finally comes to the surface.

    I hope they can convict this guy to the fullest extent of the law, and hopefully end his career as a grifter. It certainly takes courage and tenacity to pursue such a swindler.

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      We’ll find out what the fullest extent of the law is. I can tell you this, he has small claims court findings against him going back to the 1990s. I’ve got the records.

  7. A. Jacoby says:

    WHAT A STORY . . . . which only proves, ANYONE can be scammed.  No matter how astute or aware we think we are, we all have our vulnerable spots. Good for Shannon for pursuing this.

    I await the next installment with baited breath . . .

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I’m not sure if the ladies feel the same way, but in my case, I started seeing red flags almost immediately, but I wanted the project to succeed so bad, I ignored them, until they couldn’t be ignored. Thank god I was never intimate with him.

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you A. Jacoby.

      I have put myself in a vulnerable position here and your comment made me feel a little better today. It’s hard putting it out there.

      Many thanks to RV for his commitment to this story.

  8. Richard Christoph says:

    Thanks for the fascinating article, R.V.  As one whose trusting nature led to a relatively minor loss (by comparison) to a similar charlatan many years ago, I can appreciate that OMG moment of truth when the realization of having been swindled abruptly appears. Looking forward to the next installment.

    One small quibble—I believe the correct term is not “innocent until proven guilty” but instead, “presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

     

    • Good point, Richard. We can change that.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Adding presumed makes sense.  I have thought that the phrase should be innocent unless proven guilty, but by adding presumed, both phrases now have the same meaning.  Thank you, Richard, and thanks, R.V. for the enlightening article.  We hear so much about the elderly being victims of scams, but here you and several other intelligent younger people have been taken in by this low life.  I hope he’s finally stopped.  We’ll stay tuned.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Nice catch. I think I was overwriting a little bit, I really do want to stress that anything can happen in a court of law, you just never know. One reason I wrote the article is I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. This guy’s a grifter. He shouldn’t have the means and opportunity to keep doing what he does.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I’m very much in support of presumed innocent until proven guilty as a guiding principle in our justice system, but geez, this guy is obviously a dick.

  9. Grammy says:

    Riveting article.  Thank you for writing it.

    Sad that times like we are living in now, is giving birth to this kind of person.  Where they are flourish with a slap on the wrist then they go on their merry way.

  10. K. Beck says:

    I believe “grifters” have been around since the beginning of time…guess I am lucky I have never had enough money to loan much of anything to anyone. They must have a 6th sense that tells them who they can grift and who they cannot. I have given money to street people who have a “story.” I once gave money to a guy who approached a friend and me as we were leaving a restaurant. The guy said he and his wife were recently homeless and he had promised his wife they could stay in a hotel room for the night instead of their car. He said he needed $20. more and he would have enough to get the room. I gave him the $20. He looked surprised when he saw it was the whole $20. and thanked me profusely. He looked like he was about to cry. I just said, “Have a good, warm, nights sleep.” My friend, who has LOTS of money, was aghast. She said, “Did you believe that guy?” I said, “I don’t know. Something about him made me think he was telling the truth.” She said, “He just scammed you!” I said, “Well, that’s on him, not me.” I don’t do things like that very often. And $20. is the max, given my situation. This is decades later and I am still glad I gave that guy the $20. I can’t even explain that to myself!

  11. Michelle says:

    In 2009 I was let go from a corporation I had worked at for over 20 years. I read about a job opportunity at SN&R. I was thrilled – finally I had the chance to work w like minded people and hopeful give back to our community . Jeff Lang hired me and He became my immediate supervisor. I can say in all honesty that I did find Jeff Charismatic and very bright , but I also found him to be a ladies man and I found his behavior to run interference w my job . I would find myself on any given day being told to report to different people with no reason why . He and I would be working closely together on a project and quite suddenly I was to report to someone who had nothing to do w the project.  I was baffled, frustrated, sad, angry , confused . I eventually left SN&R after Jeff and I met for lunch and I asked him if this was the way things were going to be w our projects … never knowing where I stood w no direction known . He asked me to stay , but I strongly knew it was what it was . I left a job I loved and yet still believed in Jeff . Charismatic, yes he is that and more…..

    Thanks RV I look forward to hearing more on this story.

     

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I recall an abandoned project too. It was a marijuana issue. It was gonna run and all of a sudden it didn’t run. No explanation. I’d forgotten about that.

  12. Ron says:

    Wow great story, also I love reading Hank’s stuff. it’s welcoming to know that you know him . For anybody interested in reading about all that is Eureka and Humboldt do check out the site Lost Coast Outpost.

    The wild west of weed is real and only begining,

    https://lostcoastoutpost.com/

  13. cody says:

    Almost anyone can be a grifter, scammer, etc., but it really helps if they are a great salesperson.  To be long-term successful at it usually takes someone that is charismatic, friendly, and can close deals easily.  It probably occurs more often than we are aware, as many people are loathe to admit that they fell for a scam.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think you are correct, it happens a lot more than we know. It doesn’t seem to have its own category in the crime statistics. I’m the opposite of some one who won’t admit they got scammed. I get mad and take action.

  14. T.T. says:

    Great article!  Looking forward to the next chapter.  I worked with this guy many years ago, in Humboldt County.  He was the manager of a restaurant then.  I never did like him.  I could tell he wasn’t the nice guy he tried to portray.  Now reading all about him, it is good to know my instincts were right on.  I feel sorry for his kids.

  15. Deanna Frederickson says:

    R.V.! Good to see you here and hope you are well! Looks like the infamous Lang strikes again. I have heard a few of those same stories from Lang himself such as “my place is being remodeled”. After I am the one who found out he was indicted at N&R and told the owners, he vanished. Hope the truth comes to justice whatever that may be. Looking forward to hearing how Monday goes!

    Deanna Frederickson

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Hey there, I remember you. We are doing well. Hope you are too. It must have been quite a shock when he was charged and left, that’s a pretty high profile sales position.

  16. Allan Dollison says:

    Great article, R.V. I happen to be the prosecutor that convicted him in Humboldt County. I charged the case and handled it through sentencing. Only pet peeve, I have is the term Indictment refers to something that happens with Grand Juries. They are infrequently used in California. We are allowed to charge someone with a felony by filing a complaint, and then  a preliminary hearing is conducted to see if there was sufficient evidence, and if there was, then there is a trial. Mr. Lang did plead guilty, and I proudly remember how the probation department recommended little time, but I essentially got the Judge to sentence to 180 days, and he was remanded at that time. He was never “indicted.”

    Your article was shared by a victim employee of the company he stole from. I am now on active duty with the US Army in Afghanistan, but seeing this man be fully held accountable is very important to me.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Thanks for the correction, Allan. I’ll make sure it’s taken care of. He was charged with the crime, not indicted. I’ve been watching too much TV.

      Stay safe over there in Afghanistan!

    • We can make that revision. Thanks for the clarification, Mr. Dollison. (And thank you for your service. Stay safe.)

  17. laurie k says:

    He was my friend’s boyfriend. One day we were at our community pool and he had aways be charming and very friendly to me. Except the one day I started talking about the nitemare men I had met online  being a single woman. Suddenly  her was very quiet. I wanted his opinion because I thought he might give me some insite where I was going wrong. He got up and went inside. RED FLAG I had been talking about scammers that I had busted. I guess he didn’t  like the subject.  I invited them to my house many times for dinner. My friend came  but Jeff always had an excuse. I’m glad he is out of her life. When I found out that he had scammed $$ from her I felt so bad for her, but told her there had to be others.  And sure enough they came forward. I’m sure there’s  more that are out there. So Sad. I hope they keep him locked up for a long time.

  18. mark hanzlik says:

    RV, I’m glad you followed up on this and shared all of your recollections.  There was something just not right about Lang when I met him in 2010 at the News & Review.   I couldn’t put my finger on it but I’m relieved Hank Sims and you have been willing to stay on this news, even though it’s not on many others’ radar.

  19. Aaron says:

    RV thanks for reporting on this. At SN&R Lang struck me as a con man. Looking forward to the next story.

  20. Steve Murray says:

    A very interesting article. I believe the line between illegal “grifters”  and legal “financial planners” can be very fine indeed.  It’s really best not to believe or blindly trust ANYONE regarding your money. Nobody cares more about your finances than you do, especially those so called financial planners who do not have to put yours best interests above their own. In my opinion that industry is legalized grifting.

  21. Nancy says:

    I feel for the women,blinded by love/lust enough to give a man they knew very little about their hard earned money. I would have had this guy checked out throughly before lending him one red cent and it would take more than a few promises for me to do so. I’m sure he chose women who may not have had much self esteem or have dated much. Such women are bigger targets for heartless crooks like Lang. Not blaming the women. This just seems to be a common thing.