Romance Scammer Sentenced

A South Carolina woman who admitted to helping swindle an elderly Wichita-area widow in a romance scam has been sentenced to five years probation in Sedgwick County.

Kathy Heistand, 68, pleaded guilty in May to the mistreatment of an elder person and theft.

A 74-year-old recently widowed Kansas woman was contacted on Facebook in 2020 by someone who said his name was Victor Patrick, and claimed to be working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Texas.

The two developed an online romance, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Patrick said he’d be with the widow as soon as he retired, but meanwhile he needed money, and he asked the widow to send money to Heistand, who would give the money to Patrick.

The widow sent six cashier’s checks payable to Heistand for a total of $532,000.

The widow’s financial institutions warned her it was a scam, but she didn’t believe it.