The women called him “master.” He called them his “slaves.”
But the women Greenwich financial titan Stephen Dent met online clearly were the ones with the power.
They used that power to extract more than $200,000, which Dent gave them voluntarily in exchange for both online companionship and sex.
According to the report, Dent told police he paid “approximately $15,000” for one sexual encounter. He also told police that in the first eight months of 2007, he “spent approximately $200,000 on women that he has either had sex with or just met online.” The report said that he gave some of the money to women he didn’t have sex with because “they were down on their luck,” giving it “out of the goodness of his heart.”
No one who’s met him has ever accused Dent of being the sharpest pencil in the box, but this part should give hope to every moron in America: anyone, even those with IQs of 73, can grow up to be rich!
A new extortion case
On Jan. 28, 2009, the FBI called Greenwich police to inform them of another apparent plot to extort Dent.
After talking to a different private detective hired by Dent, police found that just months after Sipel’s sentencing, Dent was back on SeekingArrangement.com again, this time with a new account, but still corresponding with the same women. “He closed his previous account and began to use a different e-mail address but the same screen name to correspond with his women friends,” police documents state.
Dent’s Internet chats once again turned ugly when Dawn Jessop, 28, of Ohio, allegedly began blackmailing Dent in November 2008, threatening to release their correspondence and expose Dent to the community for his alleged role in “patronizing prostitutes,” according to police documents. Dent then wired two $25,000 payments to Jessop and her mother, and another $50,000 to her husband, Christopher Jessop. It was not until the FBI began to survey Dent’s arrangements to drop $50,000 in the Jessops’ account in January 2009 that Greenwich police were called to intervene, according to the warrant.
According to police documents, Dent was also blackmailed for $9,000 by a third woman, but no charges have been filed in that case.
In the 2007 police report, police reference a copy of an e-mail they describe as “a standard form letter” which Dent would send to prospective companions. That letter was initially withheld, but received by Greenwich Time upon a second request, albeit in redacted form. Despite much of the detail being blacked out, it does shed light on some details of Dent’s arrangements:
“I can only meet during the weekdays around midday. In general I am not available at night or during the weekends. Furthermore, we would need to meet only when my wife is away. Since I don’t really travel, for the most part the meetings would have to be out here in the Greenwich-Stamford area.
“Regarding your financial assistance, my initial thoughts are cash compensation in the range of $2,000 to $3,000 per meeting, assuming that we meet about twice a month, plus expenses. If there is anything of an impersonal nature (such as electronics items) that you would like me to purchase for you online and have shipped to your home, I’d be happy to do this. If you are interested in relocating, I will pay for your moving expenses and switch you over to a monthly allowance which would cover your expenses. If you have other financial needs, I’d be happy to discuss them. I am flexible on this whole subject, and am even willing to wire money directly to your checking account if needed.”
Net worth: About $100 million
According to town records, Dent resides on a private street in a gated house near the Cos Cob Harbor assessed at $4.5 million and owns his own investment firm, although he recently closed the doors of his office in Old Greenwich, in the same complex as the Greenwich Time office. Dent, who told police in 2007 that his net worth is approximately $100 million, is also the founding funder of the Greenwich Science Center, a nonprofit educational organization based in Stamford, which is now defunct.
Frederick said Dent is moving forward with support from his family and hopes his story will be a warning for others.
“He is fortunate to be able to rely on the tremendous support he has received from his wife and family and from his close friends,” Frederick said. “He further hopes the publicity this matter has received will be useful in teaching the public the dangers of Internet crime.”
Okay, Stevo, lesson noted. Thanks!
UPDATE: Hold on kids, better finish yur studies if you want to get rich. Turns out Stevo is a grandson of the DuPont clan, which probably explains how he got a leg up in the world, though hardly explains why anyone invested their money with him.
UPDATE II: I forgot to mention that Dent lives in the old dump near the end of Twin Lakes Drive (Gilliam lane, to those of us who remember the street before developer Jack Brod got pretentious). His house has been on the market for a year or so asking something like $12 15 million. My estimate of its value is in the mid- threes, which may explain why it hasn’t sold and perhaps sheds light on the fantasy world this man is living in.