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Police Nab Impersonator Who Allegedly Scammed Hurricane Sandy Victims

At least eleven homeowners fell prey to a scam artist Woodbridge police say allegedly took $50,000 of the victims' money and gave them nothing in return.


For some homeowners whose houses were wrecked by Hurricane Sandy, that wasn't the only devastation they encountered because of the storm.

A man Woodbridge Police say took advantage of residents who were trying to get their lives back together after the destructive October hurricane was arrested over three weeks ago. 

Police arrested David Scott Ruddy, 32, of Metuchen on January 26 and charged him with 11 counts of theft by deception and 3 counts of wrongful impersonation. 

Ruddy, police charge, allegedly preyed on people displaced by the hurricane. They said Ruddy visited shelters after the hurricane and pretended to be a representative of different agencies to gain the trust of the victims and allegedly took $50,000 in deposits and payments.

So far, 11 different victims have come forward with complaints that they've been had.

The organizations Ruddy allegedly said he was employed by in the ruse include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He also claimed, at various times, to be an investigator with the NJ Attorney General's Office, a Red Cross volunteer, an employee of the Fugitive Recovery Agency, a bail bonds agent, and a police officer.

After gaining the victims' trust, police said Ruddy would offer to sell them apartments, condos, or houses at a very low price. He'd take a deposit and have the anxious buyers meet him at an office he rented on Rahway Avenue, where he'd take deposits and never deliver the goods.

He also worked a similar scam, police said, with automobiles. He said he had connection to police sale auctions and could get them good vehicles at cheap prices. Police say Ruddy allegedly took full payment for the non-existant vehicles and never delivered.

Ruddy, who also goes by the aliases of David Castro and David Gartman, has ties to East Brunswick, South River, Old Bridge and Metuchen, police said. He is also wanted by police in Georgia for allegedly operating similar disaster-related scams.

Ruddy is being held without bail at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Facility in North Brunswick.

Police are expecting more victims to come forward. Anyone with information or who has been targeted by a scam, should call Detective Santiago Tapia of the Woodbridge Police at 732-602-7394.

Sara February 11, 2013 at 08:49 PM
How dIsgusting.
Kathleen Marchitto February 12, 2013 at 02:03 AM
I was a Sandy victim that was targeted by Mr. Ruddy in December.I had been in a Red Cross shelter on the Rutgers Livingston Campus & Old Bridge.Mr Ruddy was present daily & appeared to be working closely with the Red Cross and POLICE who I witnessed taking instruction FROM HIM.Many people were duped by him because he appeared to be in an official capacity. He was allowed in areas where only officials were supposed to be & in this way he gained access to personal info. I never gave him my phone # yet he was able to call me in December & ask about things like how much I was awarded by Fema. I didn't care for the guy & politely told him that my business was not his. However some of these victims trusted him & I would say that the officials are responsible. I reported this incident the moment I hung up from his call to FEMA,the Red Cross & victims I knew;no one listened.I later heard he was successful scamming people & I reported it again & called & emailed News12NJ but was told there was no story here!I hope victims get their money back.Tthey trusted him because,he was ALLOWED to present himself as an official. I have the phone logs and emails to prove what I've written here. Someone should've listened when this was reported.Officials dropped the ball when they allowed him to "run the show" at shelters. Ask anyone who was a victim there if they thought he was in an official capacity & they will tell you what I've just wrote.He's not the only one at fault here.Kathleen Marchitto
Kathleen Marchitto February 12, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Also I was able to simply Google his name and his mugshot records from Florida came up...why didn't the Red Cross, Fema or The Police agencies involved do a background check on this guy? And they call themselves part of our homeland security....its laughable!!!
Jane Doe February 12, 2013 at 12:48 PM
He has scammed so many people so many times. He used to be a "pastor" of a church ministry in the Perth Amboy area. He is one fast talker and really is able to take people in. I know he has numerous warrants for his arrest.
Deborah Bell (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Jane, when was that? What was the name of it?
Jane Doe February 12, 2013 at 12:57 PM
http://www.lookupbook.com/profile/misc-business/ga/duluth/david-ruddy-ministries,-inc. this is the one he had in georgia. he is wanted there. i am looking for the one in perth amboy. it was two or three years ago, as i recall
Jane Doe February 12, 2013 at 01:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTDZouz7cbk
fhead February 12, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Hopefully he gets scammed into jail sex a few times over the next 5 years
Glove March 21, 2013 at 11:29 PM
I know him because he scammed a friend of mine out of $10k. He is where he should be!
BigT June 13, 2013 at 04:43 AM
He scammed me, too! He's a dirtbag loser. He also scammed a church and has warrants in Florida. It's disgusting that he keeps getting out of jail with such a despicable rap sheet.

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