A Muscatine city worker has been accused in Scott County of posing as an area TV meteorologist to meet women online and using a city computer to conduct some of the crimes, authorities say.

Matt Wendt, 24, of Davenport, was arrested May 9 and released from the Scott County Jail later that day on $2,000 bond. Wendt was charged with two counts of identity theft, each an aggravated misdemeanor. He is an accountant for the city of Muscatine.

According to a story by KWQC-TV, Wendt used the identity of KWQC meteorologist Greg Dutra to create fake social media accounts to meet women.

"I posted a message on Twitter that had my girlfriend tagged in it, and a few moments later I got a direct message from a girl who was upset because she thought that I hadn't told her that I had a girlfriend from conversations that we allegedly had on Facebook," Dutra said in the KWQC story.

Davenport police traced the messages back to IP addresses from both Wendt's home and work computers.

Attempts to reach Muscatine officials Wednesday to see whether the charges would affect Wendt's job status were unsuccessful.

An aggravated misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to two years and a fine of $500 to $750. Arraignment for Wendt has been scheduled for 11 a.m. June 12.

(23) comments

iagirl86

Are they really doing a news story on this? Good lord.

ridgeview
ridgeview

He looks like Al Capone!

just curious

Most of the females I know think that Greg Dutra is "HOT", so not just as a meteorologist but THAT meteorologist would qualify as chick magnet.

tomred

Every female I know thinks Erik Maitland and Terry Swails are soooo much hotter. Didn't you see Erik rockin the blue jeans last week during the storm! He got some back that would make J Lo jealous. No that is a chick magnet...not some preppy lookin nerd from Jersey!

Um_whatever
Um_whatever

I constantly see people changing their Facebook name to some famous persons name (I saw an "Elizabeth Page" yesterday that had even used Betty Page's photo for the profile pic). Are we going to start rounding them up too? I hope this guy has a good lawyer... at this point, without any attempts to take money or open lines of credit, has he really done anything beyond violating the Facebook terms of service?

Bobaloo

Well, here's the thing – and forgive me if I seem to be over-reacting – but yes, this IS identity theft, and second, and most concerning to me, is, because it was caught quickly, this guy ONLY got away with briefly trying to assume another's identity and profession to become a "chick magnet." What if this man, using his "Greg Dutra" alias, stalked a girl, committed theft or some other act that isn't so easily cleared up or fixed, even if with a little bit of investigating that this yokel and the real Greg Dutra are not one and the same?

See, when you damage someone's reputation through an act like this, it's not always easily fixable as it is on TV – y'know, the mistake is revealed, the instigator is hauled off to jail, the main protagonist's character is restored fully, we all hug, applause and awws, fade to black – Mr. Dutra's reputation could have been ruined ... forever. All because some guy, who for all I know has difficulty getting the girl, wants to date a hot-looking chick. Jeez!

Again, sorry if it seems like I'm overreacting, but that's my two cents worth.

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

Good comment. Your two cents worth are spot on. And who knows what this guy was planning if he had not been caught...that's the scary part.

Klaatu
Klaatu

Yes, you are right, but we have differing standards for identity theft, don't we? If you sneak in from Honduras or Mexico and use someone's SS number not only will you not get arrested, you will be adored and benefits will be given. Free stuff. I guess motivation must be the difference. If you pretend to be someone else to get a date, but don't steal his SS number and don't mess with his credit, you will get hammered. But if you steal an SS number, collect benefits, commit tax fraud (filing for earned income tax credits, dependents, etc) you will suffer no punishment. And that is absolute truth. And moreover, if you are here illegally now, you can walk into any public school and enroll your children without proving residence. Try that if you are a citizen. Illegals get to choose their kids schools, but legal citizens don't.

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

"In New York and California, online impersonation is a misdemeanor punishable by thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in jail. In Texas, the crime is a third-degree felony that could land perpetrators up to ten years in prison. The Arizona legislature is currently considering a bill almost as severe as Texas’s law. In total at least nine states have an online impersonation law on the books or are currently considering one. Even if the impersonation involves a fake persona, the use of any real names, business or photography could cross the legal threshold."

http://business.time.com/2013/01/22/can-you-go-to-jail-for-impersonating-someone-online/

Hereandhere

It will be fun to watch this reported on KWQC, see if they can do it with those serious news faces that they practice and rehearse!

Klaatu
Klaatu

We live in very strange times......

tomred

This guy must be really dumb...if wanted to get chicks as a meteorologist he should have posed as Terry Swails...he is soooo much cuter than Dutra!

TruthOnlyBeTold
TruthOnlyBeTold

Maybe it's because I have pants that are older than this guy that I will never understand the seemingly infinite amount of nefarious stupidity that people are committing involving social media and the internet. This guy will most likely get fired from his job and now will have an aggravated misdemeanor on his record....at 24. What a waste.

Legalizeandtax

Is this even a crime? Land of the free my behind.

CTA2RLM1
CTA2RLM1

In this instance yes. It's identity theft as he was pasing himself off as Greg Dutra.

Eugenix Pure

Dude... freedom is relative but becomes common sense to somene with common sense. . Go live in another country for a couple of years and then reflect on that.Again, it is all relative, but here I am free to do whatever I like, as long as I don't disrespect your right to be you. ( Impersonating real people in cyberspace is illegal and this goof's motivations were devious.)
Here I do NOT have to observe the leader's religion. I can express my views as long as I allow an EXCHANGE from others. Everything I can't do is the same thing someone else cannot do to me. And vice versa.

Iowaguy

Are we really sure that Greg Dutra is truly a friendly, certified meteorologist?? Perhaps he is really Bill Gluba, with ALOT of makeup trying to pose as a swag meteorologist . #background check

ttdad

Sox, there are so many ways to respond..

Barnabette

...And yet another great reminder = the importance of meeting & communicating with people in real time, face-to-face. #stopwastingtime

ttdad

He has a face for radio.

BennieFergusen

You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.--Buzz Lightyear

geoff
geoff

What a Shame.....

Sox14

Who'd a thunk? Posing as a mteorologist would get all the chicks.

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