Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gay Gossip Blogger Exposed as 9/11 Scam Artist

There are fewer creatures on earth lower thann people who ripped off 9/11 charities and pretended to have loved ones killed in the murderous attacks.

Well, meet Patric Ian Henn, a two-bit scumbag fraud who's now thankfully facing prison time.
He was known around Long Beach, Calif., as the "Boy About Town" — a flamboyant, self-styled Internet gossip meister who burst onto the town's political and social scenes.

But there was more to him than reliably showing up at gala events and declaring people "fabulous." The "Boy" was a man with a notorious past — one that caught up with him this month and has him facing extradition to Broward County.

Patric Ian Henn's West Coast party-hopping ceased when Long Beach police picked him up on a fugitive warrant for skipping out on his probation for a scheme related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, authorities said. Henn, formerly of Fort Lauderdale, obtained more than $68,000 in benefits from the American Red Cross with a phony, tear-soaked tale of his domestic partner perishing in the assault on the World Trade Center.

Henn, 33, pleaded guilty in January 2005 to grand theft, with Broward Circuit Judge Marc Gold sentencing him to 2 ½ years in prison followed by 12 ½ years of probation.

Henn also promised that once he got out of prison, he would pay back the money he wheedled under false pretenses from the Red Cross' Broward chapter.

But within four months of his November 2006 release from prison, Henn was on the run. And as of Monday, the Red Cross hadn't gotten a cent back from him, said Bill Epps, the Broward chapter's executive director.

Henn first appeared on the Long Beach social circuit late last year, showing up at events carrying an oversized patent leather red purse and with a cameraman in tow. He quickly became a fixture at grand openings, fundraisers, ribbon cuttings and other events, Long Beach councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga said.

He began posting video segments on the Internet, writing a blog and appearing on a weekly community television show. Sonny Bozeman, who hosts the show, said Henn's following was beginning to build.

Henn called himself simply "Boy About Town," Uranga said.

The newly constructed persona came crashing down when Long Beach City Hall received an anonymous e-mail detailing his past in Florida. He was arrested at his Pacific beachfront home about midnight on July 11.

The arrest didn't surprise Fort Lauderdale attorney Norm Kent, who unraveled Henn's fraud after Henn pressed for The Express, a South Florida gay and lesbian community newspaper, to do a story on him as the nation was still reeling from the impact of the events of Sept, 11, 2001. Kent, the Express' publisher at the time, delved into Henn's background and exposed holes in his story. Henn disappeared within days.

No comments: