Another victim of a convicted romance scammer who fatally shot himself during a Surrey traffic stop last weekend has come forward, saying the justice system let her down.
At the time of his death, Gianluigi Derossi was linked to the murder investigation of his estranged wife in Coquitlam.
Allison Flannagan met Derossi, who was convicted under the name Reza Moenian, in July 2015 through an online dating site.
At that time he was using a third name — Tony Aquelini — and claimed to be a member of the wealthy Vancouver family that owns the Vancouver Canucks and a variety of real estate interests.
“He seemed to be just the prince that rode in on the white horse,” she said.
“It moved along very quickly, he proclaimed love for me, talking about marriage, buying a house together, supporting me. I would say closer to the beginning of 2016.”
Beneath the charm, Derossi was scheming to drain Flannagan’s savings, she said. He convinced her to sign up for 13 credit cards, and eventually took her for an estimated $200,000.
In the end, she lost her townhouse and was forced to declare bankruptcy.
“He always had an excuse, it was like he was always one step ahead of me. Looking back, hindsight is 20-20. There were red flags, but when you’re in the situation you’re not thinking that way,” she said.
“It was a big, big shock. Disbelief. I was quite distraught. I did have to seek a lot of therapy to get where I am today, because the reality of it hit me hard when I realized what had gone on.”
After scamming Flannagan, Derossi went on to defraud another woman Global News spoke with for $100,000, and leaving her bankrupt as well.
But Flannagan said despite police recommending charges in her case, Crown declined to approve them.
Then last year, he married Stephanie Forster, an award-winning social and tech entrepreneur. The 39-year-old was shot to death in her car outside her Coquitlam home on Dec. 8, and two days later Derossi fatally shot himself during a police traffic stop.
Forster’s brother told Global News she had learned his true identity and contacted police, but continued to face a torrent of harassment.
Derossi had been ordered not to communicate with Forster, and not to go to her residence, workplace or school as a result, but court documents indicate he was later charged with breaching his conditions on Oct. 2.
“Had those charges (in Flannagan’s case) been approved by Crown and gone through, I suspect he would still be in jail today and we could have prevented what happened to Stephanie,” Flannagan said.
“The justice system has let me down. It let the other victim down and it definitely let Stephanie and her family down.”
Both Forster and Derossi’s deaths remain under investigation. Police confirm the files are linked, but have not identified a suspect in her death or said if more than one person was being investigated.
- Director fights to keep Morrisseau fraud doc raw footage sealed from police
- Kingston, Ont. police investigating shooting near Collins Bay penitentiary
- Death threat, powder sent to Manhattan DA weighing potential Trump indictment
- Kids at bus stop foil attempted kidnapping, swarm man who tried to grab child