New victim of romance scammer linked to B.C. murder comes forward after his suicide

New victim of romance scammer linked to B.C. murder comes forward after his suicide

Another victim of a convicted love scammer who fatally shot himself during a traffic stop in Surrey last weekend has come forward, saying the justice system has let her down.

At the time of his death, Gianluigi Derossi had been linked in Coquitlam to the murder investigation into his estranged wife.

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Allison Flannagan met Derossi, who was convicted under the name Reza Moenian, through an online dating site in July 2015.

At the time he was using a third name – Tony Aquelini – and claimed to be a member of the wealthy Vancouver family, which owns the Vancouver Canucks and a variety of real estate holdings.

“He just seemed like the prince who rode in on the white horse,” she said.

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“It went very quickly, he proclaimed his love to me, talked about marriage, bought a house together, supported me. I would say more like early 2016.”

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Under the charm, Derossi planned to tap Flannagan’s life savings, she said. He convinced her to sign up for 13 credit cards and ended up taking her for an estimated $200,000.

In the end, she lost her townhouse and had to file for bankruptcy.

“He always had an excuse, it was like he was always one step ahead of me. Looking back it’s 20-20. There were red flags, but when you’re in the situation, you don’t think that way,” she said.

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“It was a big, big shock. Unbelief. I was pretty upset. I had to seek a lot of therapy to get to where I am today because reality hit me hard when I realized what had happened.”

After cheating on Flannagan, Derossi scammed another woman Global News spoke to out of $100,000, bankrupting her as well.

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But Flannagan said although police recommended charges in her case, Crown declined to authorize them.

Then, last year, he married Stephanie Forster, an award-winning social and technology entrepreneur. The 39-year-old was shot dead in her car outside her home in Coquitlam on December 8 and two days later Derossi fatally shot herself during a traffic stop by police.

Forster’s brother told Global News she learned his true identity and contacted the police but continues to face a spate of harassment.

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Derossi had been ordered not to communicate with Forster and consequently not to go to her home, place of work or school, but court documents show he was later charged on October 2 with violating his terms.

“Had these charges (in Flannagan’s case) been approved and reviewed by Crown, he probably would still be in prison today and we could have prevented what happened to Stephanie,” Flannagan said.

“The justice system has let me down. It failed the other victim and it definitely failed Stephanie and her family.”

The deaths of Forster and Derossi are still under investigation. Police confirm the files are linked but have not identified a suspect in her death or said if more than one person was being investigated.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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