Police: Woman was scam artist, not socialite

NEW HOPE, Pa. - September 23, 2010

Police say a Bucks County woman who presented herself as a socialite is actually a scam artist.

Investigators say suspect, 63-year-old Nydia Vega, was living the good life with bad checks.

Also known by multiple aliases such as Lucy George, police say Vega was caught when, over the summer, she tried to work a deal to purchase a penthouse at Barkley in Rittenhouse Square - for $5 million.

It took her realtor quite a while to see through her scam.

"She had her act together as far as her stories about the Hamptons and the planes and the cars," said Peter Mathery. "She had pictures of herself in front of Maseratis and different parties and things."

In New Hope, police say Vega tried to rip off one of the town's most prominent millionaires to the tune of well over one million dollars in a scheme to purchase a town house and other properties.

Real estate wasn't Vega's only vice, police said. She also allegedly bounced a check used to purchase more than $150,000 worth of jewelry during a buying spree over the summer.

"The value of the goods was $52,000," said jewelry merchant Demetrius Politicos. "I'm certainly not a rich man and they certainly put a dent in my net worth."

Vega has been taken to New York to face bad check and other theft charges in the Hamptons.

That's where, police say, she wrote thousands of dollars in bad checks at a boutique for lingerie.

Police sources say Vega has confessed to the crimes in the Bucks County area, but it will be a while before Vega is returned to face charges of deception, identity theft and forgery.

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