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Utah man accused of scamming $200k from woman now charged with theft, sexual abuse

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 00:35:45-05

UTAH COUNTY — A man who was previously charged with scamming a romantic partner out of nearly $200,000 now faces additional charges in what prosecutors are calling "a disturbing pattern of activity."

Nathaniel Holzapfel, 43, was arrested in September on three 2nd-degree felony counts of communications fraud. Court documents say he convinced a woman with whom he was romantically involved to sell her home, then he handled the sale and paperwork but refused to give her the money.

Since then, investigators say they have learned of multiple other victims that he has stolen money from with similar methods.

“We have more victims coming forward. Victims are often selected by the perpetrator through social and dating apps," Sgt. Cole Christensen with the Utah County Attorney's Office said in a press release. "I urge people to exercise additional caution. Be aware of red flags, like asking for money, or investing in ventures. Protect yourself.”

In new criminal charges filed Thursday, Holzapfel is accused of theft and sexual abuse.

Court documents say Holzapfel stole a woman's diamond wedding ring from a previous marriage and her personal vehicle.

The woman said she was planning to sell the ring, valued at over $20,000, but Holzapfel convinced her to not sell it and to instead send it to him so he could get a second appraisal. She said she never saw the ring again, and that Holzapfel changed his story multiple times about what happened to it. When she threatened to go to law enforcement, she says he sent her $3,000.

READ: Gaylen Rust sentenced to 19 years in prison for $200 million Ponzi scheme

The same woman told investigators that Holzapfel wanted her to sell her 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee and to upgrade to a nicer vehicle. She didn't want to, but she said he showed up to her home one day and said he "bought her a new vehicle because she deserved it." He allegedly had her sign a document so it would be in her name, but she later learned that this paperwork was entering her into a loan. She went to return the new vehicle, but said she then found out Holzapfel had already sold her Jeep.

In a separate case, Holzapfel is accused of touching a woman in a sexual way without her consent. Court documents say he was talking with her outside next to her truck, then put his arms around her and pushed her up against it. The woman said that despite her telling him to stop and that she "didn't want to get physical," he put his hands down her pants and up her shirt. She said she later confronted him over text messages, and he "said he was sorry and thought they were just having a good time."

He was charged with two counts of theft and two counts of forcible sexual abuse. All four are second-degree felonies.

"The charges alleged against this individual keep growing because we have victims coming forward and working with our investigation team. I’m so grateful for the courage of these victims," Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said.