A California man who has become known as the “Dine-and-Dash Dater” pleaded not guilty today to extortion, grand theft and other charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Paul Guadalupe Gonzales (dob 2/24/73) faces seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion and one count of grand theft, all felonies, according to the criminal complaint. He also is charged with two misdemeanor counts each of defrauding an innkeeper and petty theft.
The case was filed for arrest warrant on July 3. Bail was set at $315,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Department J of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.
From May 2016 through April 2018, Gonzales is accused of taking financial advantage of women he met mostly through dating apps and websites. He allegedly went to dinner with them at restaurants in Pasadena, Long Beach, Burbank and Los Angeles, where he ordered and consumed food and drinks, then allegedly left without paying any of the bill, according to Deputy District Attorney Michael Fern of the Cyber Crime Division.
Eight women purportedly ended up paying the bill themselves, one in the belief that the defendant was going to pay her back, while in two other instances the restaurants picked up the check, the prosecutor said. Those businesses are among the victims named in the criminal complaint.
Gonzales allegedly defrauded a total of more than $950 from the women, according to the complaint.
In a separate and unrelated incident, the defendant also allegedly received services from a hair salon and left without paying.
Gonzales faces a possible maximum penalty of 13 years in state prison if convicted as charged.
The case remains under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department.