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Con man drugged, robbed older men with money, DA says

The man woke up in his Back Bay apartment in a daze. The last thing he remembered was sharing a few drinks the night before with a younger man he had met online. Trim and in his 40s, the younger man said his name was Bryan Young and claimed to be a wealthy European.

Now, Young was gone. And so were many of the man’s most valuable belongings: four paintings, including a 1938 portrait by R.H. Ives Gammell worth $13,500; silver salt-and-pepper shakers; designer ties and luggage; and a $12,000 Swiss watch with a crocodile-skin strap.

Including other pieces of jewelry, silver, crystal, and a laptop computer, Young had made off with $60,000 worth of the victim’s possessions, according to a Boston police report.


The victim, who was then in his mid-60s, reported the April 2, 2013, theft to police, who determined he had been drugged. But there was no easy way to track down Young, who had given his victim a false name and was able to elude authorities for nearly three years and victimize at least two other men.

Police caught a break recently, when the Back Bay victim told them he believed he had learned Young’s true identity: Riccardo D’Orsainville, a Haitian national who emigrated legally in 1980 and who has a string of convictions for theft including a 2014 federal conviction for stealing from a Veterans Affairs program.

Late Friday afternoon, Suffolk prosecutors obtained indictments against D’Orsainville, now 50, on one count of kidnapping, three counts of poisoning, larceny over $250, and receiving stolen property.

Officials said there are at least two other victims, who had possessions stolen in the same way between March 2013 and April 2013. He has been indicted in those cases as well.

Police said D’Orsainville contacted one of the victims through Silver Daddies, a website for older gay men looking for sexual partners. He met the other two victims at a bar. In each case, D’Orsainville was dressed sharply and spoke in an elegant accent that sounded European.


The victims brought him to their homes, had a few drinks, and passed out. All three men woke up to find they had artwork and designer neckties stolen from them. In one case, prosecutors said, he stole a tuxedo. One man woke up with his hands tied behind his back.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said the indictments were the result of a long investigation by prosecutors and Boston police. He praised the victims for immediately contacting police.

“When victims come forward and witnesses share information, we build better, stronger cases,” Conley said.

Frank Fernandez, a Boston defense attorney, represented D’Orsainville in Boston Municipal Court, where prosecutors first charged him in February with larceny in the case of the Back Bay victim.

“I’m not ready to make any kind of statement . . . on his behalf,” Fernandez said. “I need to speak with him first.”

Fernandez said D’Orsainville has qualified for a court-appointed lawyer and is expected to receive new counsel as his case moves through Superior Court.

D’Orsainville, whose last job is listed at Home Depot, has been held at Nashua Street Jail in lieu of $250,000 since his February arraignment. He has pleaded not guilty.

In federal court records, D’Orsainville is described as an artist, poet, and writer of greeting cards who has a master’s degree in visual fine arts. One of his previous lawyers said he struggled to come out as a gay man because he was raised in an intolerant family.


“He reacted to that by turning inward, becoming extremely isolated, not having friends, not being able to relate to people, and only being able to relate . . . by creating some kind of façade,” his lawyer, Jennifer C. Pucci, told a federal court judge during a 2014 sentencing.

D’Orsainville also has a history of fraud that goes back to the mid-1990s.

In 1996, he was convicted in district court of credit card fraud, according to federal court records. Five years later, he was convicted in federal court of embezzling more than $111,000 from the New England Medical Center, where he worked as an administrative aide.

In 2010, a Suffolk Superior Court judge sentenced him to 17 months for stealing the personal information of a doctor at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, where he had been working. He charged $53,000 to that account, according to court documents.

After he was released from jail, he began working for the Boston Veterans Affairs Research Institute in Jamaica Plain, a nonprofit agency that advances medical research to help veterans.

Federal officials said that between July 2012 and January 2013, D’Orsainville embezzled more than $68,000 worth of program payments and US Treasury checks intended for the agency.

He pleaded guilty in 2014.

“Together, these offenses reveal the defendant as an incorrigible and pathological cheat, with no respect for the law and undeterred by the consequences,” Assistant US Attorney Maxim Grinberg wrote in a court document.


Prosecutors asked for a 21-month sentence, citing the way he manipulated supervisors at the research institute by providing false documents so they would not learn of his criminal background.

“He cunningly portrayed himself as an articulate, educated individual from a wealthy United Kingdom . . . family and even spoke with an English accent,” Grinberg told the court at D’Orsainville’s sentencing.

It was that crime that helped Boston police with the Back Bay case.

Suffolk prosecutors said that sometime after D’Orsainville’s federal conviction, the Back Bay victim was at a party, where he mentioned the theft to an acquaintance who was familiar with D’Orsainville’s federal case and recognized the man’s description of the thief.

The victim told police and they presented him with a picture of D’Orsainville. The victim identified him as the man who had pretended to be the wealthy European Bryan Young, prosecutors said.

When Boston police searched D’Orsainville’s home in Norwood, they allegedly found the stolen clothes and the artwork.

Maria Cramer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeMCramer.