Paul Guadalupe Gonzales

It’s against the law to leave a restaurant without first settling your check. The specific crime is theft of services. But what a Los Angeles man did to get out of paying the check was not only illegal, but an abomination morally.

Having earned the dubious nickname of the “dine-and-dash dater,” Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, 45, would contact women through dating apps and websites and invite them out to dinner. Things usually went along well until the check arrived, at which point Gonzales would excuse himself, presumably to make on last pit stop. But instead, he would leave the restaurant and his date, who was then stuck with the bill.

Last month he was caught, according to Los Angeles station KTLA, and has been charged with seven counts of extortion, two counts of attempted extortion, and one count of grand theft — all felonies.

Eight women told prosecutors they’d footed the bill, one of them under the belief that Gonzales would pay her back. And at least twice, the restaurant paid its own check — making those businesses victims in the criminal complaint, officials said.

In total, Gonzales is accused of defrauding the women of more than $950.

He’s also charged with receiving hair salon services, then leaving before paying.

If convicted he could spend up to 13 years in the slammer, where the food, I’m told, isn’t nearly as good.

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