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Woman Who Posed As Heiress Convicted

October 18, 2002

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NORRISTOWN, Pa (AP) _ A woman accused of posing as a wealthy heiress to con friends and businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars was convicted of theft by deception and writing a bad check.

Tereza Solomon Demoody was found guilty Thursday of scamming $30,000 from real estate executive Harvey Skarloff and then repaying him with a check that bounced.

Skarloff told investigators that he gave Demoody an additional $50,000 last year, but the jury couldn’t decide on that amount.

Demoody, 48, was actually a middle-class widow, but police have said she was so convincing in her act as an heiress that she managed to run up a $32,000 bill for limousine service and settle into a $3,500-a-night suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia.

She allegedly told people she was a beneficiary of a $47 million family fortune amassed by Haym Salomon, a Polish-American Jew who helped bankroll the American Revolution.

At her trial, Demoody testified that she planned to pay the money back to Skarloff but said a man she called her fiance lost the money gambling.

Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter ordered a presentencing investigation into Demoody, who could face up to 12 years in jail. No sentencing date has been set.

Others have claimed Demoody owes them money but no other charges are pending against her.

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