BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Blasdell man is accused of wire fraud and impersonating a Department of Homeland Security Officer.
The U.S.Attorney's Office announced a federal grand jury returned a 27 count indictment charging 51-year-old David J. Erhardt with:
- 24 counts of wire fraud
- Two counts of false personation of an officer and employee of the United States
- One count of making false statements to government agents
According to the indictment, Erhardt schemed to defraud "victim 1" between May 2016 and July 2021. He entered into a romantic relationship with victim 1 in May 2016 and allegedly falsely informed the victim that he worked for the Department of Homeland Security and was responsible for a center in Niagara Falls that housed child trafficking victims. Victim 1 provided donations for the children and Erhardt allegedly told the victim the children enjoyed the donations.
Erhardt then allegedly told the victim he did not work for the Department of Homeland Security but actually worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and he stopped working for the CIA due to health reasons.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, between 2017 and February 2020 Erhardt allegedly told the victim he needed money to for medical expenses and to cover expenses related to the settlement of his deceased dad's will. Victim 1 wrote Erhardt around 24 checks worth around $72,000 that he allegedly cashed and deposited into his bank account. Erhardt allegedly claimed he would pay the money back and wrote a check for $91,000 and $171,000 that each failed to clear and were returned for insufficient funds.
Officials say Erhardt was arraigned and released on conditions.