'Honeymoon Bandit' Cons Wives Out of Thousands of Dollars

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a con man police call "The Honeymoon Bandit" is back to working his magic -- wooing women and swindling them out of their money, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

His real name is Clifford Garrison. But to the nine wives and countless other girlfriends he's romanced over his 60 years, he has been known by many aliases.

By 2000, he had swindled more than half a million dollars out of his wives, SFGate.com estimated.

Garrison comes across as a well-read, polite, religious man, and he has marketed himself to women as a computer executive, golf pro, guidance counselor, former Vietnam prison of war and even an FBI agent, SFGate.com reported.

In 1999, he was sent to jail on a grand theft conviction after he drained Genevieve Baliantz's life savings. She was his seventh wife. He met her six years earlier at a local church after he got out of San Quentin, where he served time for swindling another wife, according to SFGate.com.

"He was just a very good con artist — he can do things other people don't know how to do," Baliantz said, according to SFGate.com. "He can convince people of anything."

While in jail, Garrison took out an ad in the personals section of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, pretending to be a business executive who was looking for a wife.

Garrison recently surfaced in Michigan, where he courted a woman known only as Elizabeth.

“He was charming, very kind, very sweet ... he said all the right things,” Elizabeth told MyFoxDetroit.com about the man she knew as Cliff Gardener.

“He showed up to my house one day with all these documents proving to me who he was, which I was a little uncomfortable.”

Local authorities soon caught on to Garrison, who was wanted for an old warrant in Monroe, Mich., for a bounced check on a jilted mistress.

On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to the bounced check charge.

Elizabeth said she started Googling Garrison and was astonished at what she saw.

“This only happens in the movies, like in Lifetime. Bad movies,” she said.

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