Police: York County man duped, extorted into paying for imaginary child
A Newberry Township man was duped into believing a woman he met on the internet had given birth to his child, then extorted into giving her nearly $5,000 for that purported child, according to police allegations.
Charging documents allege Billie Jo Brenizer, also known as B.J. Brenizer, has done the same thing to "numerous" other men.
Brenizer, 23, of the 200 block of Windy Hill Road outside Duncannon, Perry County, remains free on $2,000 bail, charged with the felonies of theft by extortion and theft by deception by creating a false impression, as well as the summary of harassment.
Brenizer did not respond Tuesday to an email and phone message seeking comment. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 31 before District Judge Scott Gross, court records state.
The man filed a complaint with Newberry Township Police in June, saying he met a woman on Facebook in February 2019 who went by the name "Kaylee Nicole," but he later realized the woman was really Brenizer and that she'd "catfished" him, charging documents state.
That means being duped into believing a person is someone they're not, a deception usually carried out with fake online profiles and photos.
The man had sex with Brenizer anyway, after which she called him and claimed he had abused and raped her, documents allege. She then said if he didn't meet up with her, she would call police and press charges, those documents state.
He agreed to meet with her because of the threat, and subsequently they engaged in a sexual relationship that ended in December 2019, according to police.
Said she was pregnant? Brenizer later called the man and told him she was pregnant with his child, and sent him images of positive pregnancy tests, charging documents state.
They discussed adoption and she told the man she had a couple willing to adopt the baby, but later she said they backed out, according to documents.
The man was led to believe Brenizer gave birth to a baby boy with medical issues, although he never saw any social-media images about her pregnancy and never saw her pregnant in person, charging documents state.
For his part, the man kept the news a secret from his family and friends, police said. The York Dispatch is withholding his name.
The man repeatedly asked to see the baby and asked for a paternity test to be done, but Brenizer would respond by saying he knew the child was his and therefore didn't need a paternity test, according to police.
Brenizer and the man agreed that if he gave her money for the child privately, rather than going through the courts, she would keep his secret, documents allege.
In total, the man gave Brenizer $4,960, police allege, despite never seeing the baby or having any proof the child existed.
'Similar cases' investigated: In November, a state police trooper also investigating Brenizer contacted Newberry Township Police to say he was "conducting an investigation similar to this case with numerous victims," charging documents allege.
Brenizer admitted to state police that she hadn't had a child, and that she used different phone numbers and social-media accounts to contact her alleged victims, according to documents.
She used the Newberry Township man's anxiety about his family finding out "to prolong her financial gain," charging documents allege.
After the situation became known to the man's family and friends, Brenizer began sending those people harassing messages, documents state.
A search of Pennsylvania court records found no similar charges filed against her by state police.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.