Stephanie Hoskins, 23, was preparing for her dream wedding at the famed Southfork Ranch to Brett Goodman, 29, the wealthy son of a native Australian rancher.
They first met on the dating website “Plenty of Fish,” last November, saying that he was currently in Fort Worth, living with roommates, on a two-year work visa from Australia. They communicated via Skype calls and text messages, although the two never actually met. They met in January, where she took him into her home after he explained his lease with his roommates was up and he didn’t want to find new ones.
Two months later, Goodman presented her with a ring, and being obsessed with the show Dallas, wanted to wed at Southfork Ranch. Under the assumption his wealthy family would pay for the venue, Hoskins purchased a wedding dress and invitations. She then noticed his name on his ID read “Joseph” and not Goodman. He explained that he changed it to avoid an ex-girlfriend, but after Hoskins Googled his real name, she made a horrific discovery.
Brett Joseph was a con man.
Joseph had done this before, conning hundreds of women and over the past decade collecting free handouts and even distributing them to other victims. “[He] made a habit out of sweeping women off their feet, stealing their hearts and then sponging off their money” according to Australia’s television series A Current Affair, one of the many created to expose Joseph’s fraud.
Hoskins does not come from a wealthy family, however; it was U.S. residency that Joseph wanted. Hoskins suspects that he was in Australia the entire time they talked online before they met, and actually might have been jobless while living with his parents in Mudgee, a town in the Australian state of New South Wales. His father says he is narcissistic and suffers from bi-polar disorder, but still condemns his son for his actions and “feels sorry” for all of his victims.
With the help of Fort Worth Police, Joseph was issued a criminal trespass warning, and was evicted from Hoskins’ home. She could not bear to be at her place when he moved everything out, though. She told The News, “It was very painful. I was in love with him. My parents adored him. … I had to get him out of my life as quickly as possible, and I didn’t want him to have a chance to con me more. He’s not the kind of criminal who breaks into your house and steals things. He steals your heart.”