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She Thought He Was Her Friend

CHICAGO (CN) - A felon with 16 civil judgments against him for hundreds of thousands of dollars bilked his friend and neighbor for $50,000, she claims in court.

As noted in the complaint filed in Cook County Court, David A. Staral, "on information and belief has multiple felony convictions for grand theft and state benefits fraud ... has been in and out of bankruptcy and ... has had approximately 16 civil judgments entered against him for hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Plaintiff J.B. says she is Staral' neighbor and "trusted him as a friend."

According to the complaint, in early 2010, "Staral told [J.B.] that he had obtained great success investing money in the stock market, that he owned a Porsche, that he traveled a lot, that he had run several successful businesses and otherwise led her to believe that he was an honest, knowledgeable, successful and sophisticated investor."

Staral offered to invest money for J.B. in September 2012, representing to her "that with a $50,000 investment, he would generate a return of $2,000 to $3,000 per month," the complaint states.

So, trusting him, on Sept. 20 she gave him a check for $50,000.

She says she has "little investing experience."

"Soon thereafter, through independent investigation, [J.B.] learned that Staral had been convicted of numerous felonies for theft and fraud and learned of many judgments against him," the complaint states.

"After learning of his criminal background, [J.B.] requested that Staral send her copies of statements showing what investments he had made for her," it continues. "J.B. also demanded that he return her money.

"Despite multiple demands, Staral has failed and refused to return [J.B.'s] money or to account for it."

The plaintiff wants her money back, punitive damages for fraud, and costs. She is represented by Peter Ordower.

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