A woman accused by scam victims of crisscrossing the U.S. claiming to be an Irish heiress is expected to learn next month whether she will be extradited to the United Kingdom.

Scamming Heiress UK Extradition

A December 2013 photo taken in Los Angeles shows Johnathan Walton and Marianne Smyth. Johnathan Walton via AP

Marianne Smyth, a 54-year-old American, will be in federal court in Maine for the hearing that relates to allegations she stole more than $170,000 from at least five victims from 2008 to 2010 in Northern Ireland. United Kingdom officials said Smyth stole money that she had promised to invest and arranged to sell a victim a home but took the money.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison on Wednesday took the case under advisement and said he would issue a ruling no sooner than May 1. If he rules to extradite her, the case would go to the secretary of state, who determines whether it could go forward.

A court issued arrest warrants for her in 2021, according to legal documents. In February, she was located and arrested in Maine. She is being held in Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft.

In a court filing, Smyth’s attorney, Kaylee Folster, argued she is not guilty of the charges and requested a hearing on the allegations. Neither Folster nor Smyth would comment about the case.

Smyth’s case has similarities to Anna Sorokin, a grifter convicted in New York of paying for a lavish lifestyle by impersonating a wealthy German heiress.


Among those fleeced was Johnathan Walton, who started a podcast in 2021 called “Queen of the Con” to warn others about Smyth. She was found guilty of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from Walton and spent about two years in jail.

Smyth said she needed the money after her bank account was frozen and for bail after she was jailed, he said. Walton assumed he would be repaid since Smyth told him she was due an inheritance of $7 million from her wealthy family in Ireland.

“She plays off of people’s weaknesses and then a lot of people are too embarrassed to come forward and admit that they lost this money,” said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Megee, who prosecuted the case that sent Smyth to jail.

Smyth and Walton grew close over several years in Los Angeles, when she bought him expensive dinners and luxury vacations, he said. But her story began to unravel when Walton realized she was jailed for stealing $200,000 from a luxury travel agency where she worked.

“She has no shame. And she has no conscience,” the 49-year-old reality television producer, author and public speaker said. “She revels in casting countless victims as unwitting actors in her elaborate schemes to defraud.”

The podcast has drawn tips from dozens of victims from California to New York, Walton said. Some have accused Smyth of starting a fake charity for Ukraine, while others say she has described herself as an emissary for Satan, a witch, a hockey coach, a cancer patient and best friends with Jennifer Aniston. She often changed her name and appearance, her victims say.

Heather Sladinski, a costume designer in Los Angeles, said Smyth scammed her out of $20,000 for psychic readings, fake life coach sessions and cult-like retreats that included rituals, breathing exercises and yoga. Smyth was funny, smart and had credentials and other documents to back up her claims, Sladinski said.

The 50-year-old from Los Angeles cut off contact with Smyth after she wanted to do a bizarre ritual involving a chicken to win back her ex-boyfriend, who had a restraining order against her, Sladinski said. Smyth then started making threatening phone calls and Sladinski “was so scared” that she moved homes. She has filed a police report against Smyth and testified at Walton’s trial.

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