NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) —
A New Orleans man has been charged for his part in a fraud scheme that lured victims using dating apps.
Sex trafficking charges were also brought against Randy “Ru Ru” Schenck, 38, on Friday, according to U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser.
The charges come nearly six months after the woman federal prosecutors identify as Schenck’s girlfriend, 30-year-old Dominique Berry of Kentwood, was arrested for her part in the scheme. Feds said she and Schenck drugged and robbed more than 50 people across the country.
One of their victims, Shawn Arthur, 40, of Metairie, died following a February 2017 encounter with Berry during which his beverages were laced with “multiple anti-psychotic medications,” according to authorities.
Berry was not charged in Arthur’s death.
The U.S. attorney offered no additional information when WDSU asked about possible charges against Schenck for Arthur’s death. The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office declined to comment. Its prosecutors and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted federal authorities with their case against Schenck.
Arthur’s death was officially ruled accidental at first but has since been changed to “undetermined.”
Court records show he met Berry through a dating app, and Schenck dropped her off at Arthur’s apartment. After Arthur was drugged, prosecutors said the pair used his debit card to shop at Walmart and buy gasoline.
Schenck’s indictment lays out similar incidents involving Schenck and Berry in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee and Georgia.
It was in Sandy Springs, Georgia, where a private detective Arthur’s family hired tracked down Berry in jail in early 2018. She would disclose details of her encounter with Arthur and others across the country to the detective and a HuffPost reporter.
Federal prosecutors charged Berry for her role in the scheme last August. In December, she reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors for identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Schenck was charged with six counts of wire fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of sex trafficking and one count of transporting an individual to engage in prostitution. He faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison if convicted.