Mom desperate for help turns to wrong man, loses thousands of dollars

Mom desperate for help turns to wrong man, loses thousands of dollars

A constable moonlighting as an Uber driver is accused of taking advantage of a passenger and getting thousands of dollars from her.

According to police, he promised to help her get custody of her child if she paid him.

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Anthony Cioppa was arraigned on charges Wednesday.

“I’m doing everything to get my baby and you took that from me,” said Tiarra Reardon. “He said, 'Well, this isn’t my full-time job, I’m a constable.'”

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Reardon told Channel 11 she needed help getting custody of her child and asked him for legal advice.

“He was going to be my investigator and help me get my case settled,” she said. "Initially, I gave him $3,250 to start it off."

While she said Cioppa did a little work, she caught him in a lie and panicked, demanding her money back.

She told Channel 11 he gave her a handwritten promise to pay but eventually stopped responding.

A local constable took money from this woman when she turned to him for help, police say.

Posted by WPXI-TV Pittsburgh on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Feeling helpless, Reardon said she called the law firm Cioppa claimed to work for.

"We were very shocked. We never do business like that," said Karen Meyers, an attorney who said her firm doesn't collect retainers or have non-lawyers secure business for them. "He’s never worked for our law firm.”

Reardon has a custody hearing this week but told Channel 11 she now can't afford an attorney.

Cioppa is charged with theft by deception.