Journalist Chris Hansen has fallen on hard times after making a name for himself by exposing child predators in his hit television series "To Catch a Predator". Hansen was arrested for writing a bad check for $13,000 wort of marketing merchandise.
Hansen, 59, was charged Monday with issuing a bad check to a Stamford business. He was released after signing a written promise to appear in court.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Stamford Advocate, Hansen placed an order with a company called Promotional Sales Limited of Summer Street in 2017 for 355 ceramic mugs, 288 T-shirts and 650 vinyl decals. The total order came to $12,998.05.
In September 2017, the company accepted a check from Hansen for the goods. The check was issued by Hansen News, LLC - a company reportedly owned by Hansen.
After the check bounced, Hansen failed to keep his promises to reimburse Promotional Sales Limited for the money he owed.
The company contacted Stamford police investigator Sean Coughlin who arranged to meet with the journalist to take a statement. But Hansen was a no-show.
After a follow-up conversation with Hansen, the detective determined he was having financial difficulties.
"I told Chris that I understood that he may have trouble, but that nearly $13,000 is a lot of money to a mom-and-pop' business and it is not fair that he accepted the material but hasn't paid for it," Coughlin wrote in an affidavit.
In April 2018, Promotional Sales Limited of Summer Street received another check from Hansen in the amount of $13,200, but that check bounced as well.
Hansen later emailed the company owner saying he sold a boat and he needed until the end of the day to come up with the money. But Hansen never kept his promise.
The company owner declined to accept four partial payments from Hansen.
Hansen then promised his wife would drop off a check, but she never showed either.
Hansen turned himself in to police on Monday, Jan. 14, the Stamford Advocate reports.
The large order of merchandise appeared to coincide with a Kickstarter campaign created by Hansen to fund a new television series titled "Hansen vs. Predator," a spinoff of the popular "To Catch a Predator" TV series.
Kickstarter donors were promised promotional items, including T-shirts and coffee mugs. The campaign raised nearly $90,000 from donors who left comments complaining they never received anything for their contributions.
"To Catch a Predator" ran from 2004 to 2007 when it was cancelled after a Texas prosecutor committed suicide following his arrest by police working with Hansen and a child advocacy group called Perverted Justice.
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