Derek Alldred was a con man who met women on OurTime.com and other dating sites, then pretended to be the man of their dreams while draining their bank accounts.
Alldred, who would often use the name Rich Peterson, told the women he was a military hero or a businessman with a charitable spirit. He often acted like he was being financially supportive of the women, all while taking advantage of their trust to access their money. But where is he today? Derek Alldred is an inmate at a federal prison in Oregon, where he is serving a 24-year sentence for victimizing more than two dozen women he met online. He is 49.
Several of the women he victimized are sharing their stories on Dateline in an episode that airs Friday, March 6 at 9 p.m. EST on NBC. Alldred also speaks publicly for the first time on the episode, called “The Perfect Guy.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Derek Alldred Is a Federal Inmate Serving a 24-Year Prison Sentence in Oregon
Derek Alldred, of Twin Cities, Minnesota, was sentenced to 288 months in prison – or 24 years – in federal court for pleading guilty to conning women out of their money. He would meet the women online and pretend to be “the perfect guy.” Many of the women were going through a difficult time in their lives, such as a messy divorce, when they encountered him online. He’d often use the name Rich Peterson, and he’d mold himself into the man of their dreams.
Alldred was arrested in Tarrant County, Texas, in 2017 and the depth of his scheme was revealed, according to The Dallas Morning News. He victimized 25 women and conned them out of thousands of dollars. Two women lived in the area of Dallas-Fort Worth, four lived in Minnesota, and others lived in California, Hawaii and Nevada, according to the Star Tribune.
He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity fraud in federal court. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant sentenced him to 24 years in prison in May 2018. He was also ordered to pay $254,892.41 in restitution to his 25 victims, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice in the Eastern District of Texas.
“This defendant left a trail of tears, emotional devastation, and financial ruin behind him,” U.S. attorney Joseph D. Brown said in the statement. “It is clear that he will never change, and we expect his sentence to reflect that.”
Alldred is serving his federal prison sentence at the Federal Detention Center in Sheridan, Oregon, or FCI Sheridan, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. His tentative release date is May 14, 2038. The Yamhill County prison houses 1,777 inmates.
“Alldred presented himself as a United States Navy pilot, a Department of Defense analyst, and a professor at Southern Methodist University,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in the statement. “He was using the name Richard Tailor. During the time he was in the relationship with the victim Alldred used her credit card to order various items and have them delivered to him at her residence. He also used the card to make various charges in The Colony, Texas. After the victim became suspicious, she discovered Alldred’s real identity of Derek Mylan Alldred. By this time, Alldred had fraudulently charged over $12,000.00 on her credit card. The victim filed a police report prompting an investigation of the fraudulent conduct. The investigation revealed that during the time Alldred was defrauding the victim in The Colony, he was also in a relationship with another victim in Dallas. Alldred would tell one victim he had to go out of town to work as a pilot, and then have the other victim pick him up at the airport. Alldred also stole money from the second victim.”
Derek Alldred Called Himself ‘a Horrible Boyfriend’ But Claimed it Is an Exaggeration to Say He Destroyed Lives
Derek Alldred spoke publicly for the first time on Dateline NBC, and claimed he was “a horrible boyfriend” but said he thinks it is an exaggeration to say that he destroyed the lives of the women he dated.
“I’m not trying to justify my behavior,” Alldred said on the show. “My behavior was…I was a horrible boyfriend, absolutely horrible. Destroying someone’s life I think is a bit exaggerated.”
Alldred would pose as a wounded veteran, a firefighter, a professor, a U.S. Navy pilot, a medical doctor, defense attorney or analyst. He had ID cards and other props to match his schemes.
Alldred said on Dateline that he had so many scams going on at once that he would get “overwhelmed.”
“It’s impossible to keep straight, particularly when I was running from the courts or, you know, running from the United States Marshals,” he said. “It was tough to keep track of who I was saying, you know, where I was and what I was doing and who I was. It’s overwhelming.”
In one scheme, he told “Joy,” an IT director in her 40s, that he was a professor who volunteered at a homeless shelter. In reality, he lived at the homeless shelter before moving in with one of his other victims. He backed his story to “Joy” with a University of Minnesota email address and ID card that allowed him into the building. He would FaceTime her from classrooms, saying he was in between classes. Props like this made the women question themselves when they had second thoughts, according to an article published in The Atlantic in 2018. “Joy” used her middle name in the story.
“It’s all an act. And he’s really good at it and I think that’s why he’s got away with it for so long,” NCIS Special Agent Mike Elkheir told KARE 11.